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CLUBS  AND  CLUB  LIFE  IN 
LONDON 


?!.■ 


CLUBS  AND  CLUB  LIFE  IN 
LONDON 

WITH    ANECDOTES  OF  ITS  FAMOUS  COFFEE 

HOUSES,   HOSTELRIES,  AND  TAVERNS 

FROM  THE  SEVENTEENTH  CENTURY 

TO  THE  PRESENT  TIME 

BY 

JOHN  TIMES,   F.S.A. 

AUTHOR  OF    "ENGLISH  ECCENTRICS  AND  ECCENTRICITIES" 


A  NEW  EDITION 
WITH  FORTY-ONE  ILLUSTRATIONS 

LONDON 

CHATTO    &    WINDUS 

1899 


,■  \   \   ?.;  I  r^   'f  VIA 


J. 


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PRELIMINARY. 

O IX  years  ago  the  publisher  of  the  present  work 
issued  a  "  History  of  Signboards,"  which  met 
with  so  much  approval  from  the  critical  press  and 
from  general  readers,  that  the  authors  might  not 
unreasonably  have  been  accused  of  vanity — or  some- 
thing very  like  vanity — at  their  achievement.  A 
companion  volume  was  then  contemplated  under  the 
title  of  "  A  History  of  the  Clubs,  Tavern  Coteries, 
and  '  Parlour  Companies  '  of  Old  London."  Material 
was  gathered,  and  the  late  William  Pinkerton,  Esq., 
F.S.A.,  of  Hounslow,  undertook  the  preparation  of 
the  book.  But  in  the  meantime  another  active 
antiquary  had  prepared  a  work  of  similar  character 
to  the  one  we  had  proposed,  and  this  interesting 
book,  with  numerous  illustrations,  prepared  expressly 
for  the  present  edition,  is  now  issued  as  a  sequel 
to  the  "  History  of  Signboards." 

Piccadilly, 

Novemier  J,  1872. 


CONTENTS. 


Origin  of  Clubs 

The  Mermaid  Club  . 

Tue  Apollo  Club 

Early  Political  Clubs 

The  October  Club      . 

The  Saturday,  and  Brothers  Clubs 

The  Scriblerus  Club  . 

The  Calved  Head  Club      . 

The  King's  Head  Club 

Street  Clubs 

The  Mohocks     . 

Blasphemous  Clubs 

Mug-house  Clubs 

The  Kit-Kat  Club 

The  Tatter's  Club  in  Shire-lane 

The  Royal  Society  Club 

The  Cocoa-Tree  CM 

AlmacKs  Club  .... 

AlmacHs  Assembly  Rooms 

Brookeis  Club  . 

"  Fighting  Fitzgerald"  at  Brookes' s 

Arthur's  Club  .... 

Whitis  Club    .... 

Boodles  Club   . 


F.\GB 
I 

r 
? 

14 
16 
20 
21 
30 
52 

35 
3& 
3& 

47 
54 

56' 

691 

7 1' 
75 
76 

8r 

91 
92- 

10$ 


CONTENTS. 


The  Beef-steak  Society 

I'AGE 

Captain  Morris,  the  Bard  of  the  Beefsteak  Society 

127 

Beef-steak  Clubs 

•                 •                 •                 • 

135 

Club  at  Tom's  Coffee-house 

136 

The  King  of  Clubs    . 

0 

.        140 

Watier's  Club  . 

, 

143 

Mr.  Canning  at  the  Clifford-street  Club 

144 

Eccentric  Clubs 

146 

Jacobite  Club  . 

. 

'      152 

The  Wittinagemot  of  the  Chapter 

Coffee-hous 

e 

153 

The  Roxburghe  Club  Dinners 

159 

The  Society  of  Bast  Overseers,  Westminster 

16s 

The  Robin  Hood       . 

168 

The  Blue-stocking  Club 

169 

The  Ivy  Lane  Club  . 

171 

The  Essex  Head  Club 

173 

The  Literary  Club     . 

174 

Goldsmith's  Clubs      . 

187 

The  Dilettanti  Society 

189 

The  Royal  Naval  Club 

196 

The  Wyndham  Club . 

198 

The  Travellers'  Club 

198 

The  United  Service  Club 

201 

The  Alfred  Club       . 

202 

The  Oriental  CM     . 

204 

The  Athenceum  Club 

205 

The  University  Club 

"11 

Economy  of  Clubs 

,         . 

211 

The  Union  Club 

216 

The  Garrick  Club     . 

. 

218 

The  Reform  Club      . 

. 

227 

CONTENTS.  XX 

PAGH 

The  Carlton  Club      .        .        ...        .        .     233 

The  Cotiservative  Club       .         ...         .         .         .     234 

The  Oxford  and  Cambridge  Club        .         ,      .   .         .     23$ 

The  Guards  Club ,     ,    ,     ^    237 

The  Army  and  Navy  Club         .         :,       ..         ,        .     »37 
Theyunior  United  Service  Club        .        .        .        .    239 

Crockfords  Club        .        .  .        .        .        .240 

"  King  Allen"  "  The  Golden  Ball"  and  Scrope  Davies .  244 
The  Four-in-ITand  Club     .         .         .         .        .         .246 

Whist  Clubs .251 

Princes  Club  Racquet  Courts 254 

An  Angling  Club  .  :  .  ^  .  .  .  .257 
The  Red  Lions  .         .         .        '.■        .         .         .  .258 

The  Coventry,  Erectheum,  and  Partlimon  Clubs  .  .260 
Antiquarian  Clubs, — The  Noviomagians  .  .  .261 
The  Eccentrics  .         .         .         .         .         .         .        ,262 

Douglas  Jerrold's  Clubs 263 

Cltess  Clubs 267 


COFFEE-HOUSES. 


Early  Coffee-houses   .... 
Gwrraway's  Coffee-house    .       •;    ■     .  v 
Jonathan's  Coffee-house 
Rainbow  Coffee-house         ... 
Nandds  Coffee-house .         .  . 

DicKs  Coffee-house    .... 
The  ''Lloyd's  "  of  the  Time  of  Charles  TL 
Lloyd^s  Coffee-house   .... 
The  Jerusalem  Coffee-house 
Baker's  Coffee-house  .... 
Coffee-houses  in  Ned  Ward's  Time 


269 

273 
278 
280 
284 
285 
286 
289 

293 
294 

294 


CONTENTS. 


Coffee-houses  of  the  Eighteenth  Century 
Coffee-house  Sharpers  in  \ii(t     . 
Don  Saltero's  Coffee-house 
Sahop-houses    . 
The  Smyrna  Coffee-house 
St.  James's  Coffee-house 
Tlu  British  Coffee-house 
Will's  Coffee-house    . 
Button's  Coffee-house 
Dean  Swift  at  Button's 
Tonis  Coffee-house 
2^e  Bedford  Coffee-house,  in  Covent  Garden 
Macklin's  Coffee-house  Oratory   . 
Tom  Kin^s  Coffee-house     , 
Piazza  Coffee-house   .... 
The  Chapter  Coffee-house  . 
Child's  Coffee-house  .... 
London  Coffee-house  .... 
Turk's  Head  Coffee-house  in  Change  Alley 
Squires  Coffee-house 
Slaughter's  Coffee-house 
Will's  and  Series  Coffee-houses  . 
The  Grecian  Coffee-house    . 
Georgis  Coffee-house 
The  Percy  Coffee-house 
Peel^s  Coffee-house    . 


297 
304 

305 
309 
3°9 
310 

3f5 
315 
323 
331 
332 
333 
338 
340 
342 
343 
345 
345 
347 
349 
352 
356 
357 
359 
360 
361 


CONTENTS. 


TAVERNS. 

"Die  Taverns  of  Old  London 
The  Bear  at  the  Bridge  Foot 
Mermaid  Taverns     ... 
T%e  Boar's  Head  Tavern  . 
Three  Cranes  in  the  Vintry 
London  Stone  Tavern 
The  Robin  Hood 
PontacKs,  Abckurch-lane    . 
Popis  Head  Tavern 
The  Old  Swan,  Thames-street    . 
Cock  Tavern,  Threadneedle-street 
Crown  Tavern,  Threadneedle-street 
The  King's  Head  Tavern,  in  the  Poultry 
The  Mitre,  in  Wood-street  .         . 

The  Salutation  and  Cat  Tavern 
"Salutation"  Taverns 
Queen's  Arms,  St.  PauPs  Churchyard 
Dollfs,  Paternoster  Row   . 
Aldersgate  Taverns   .... 
"  The  Mourning  Crown  " 
Jerusalem  Taverns,  Clerkenwell . 
White  Hart  Tavern,  Bishopsgate  Without 
The  Mitre,  in  Fenchurch-street 
The  Kings  Head,  Fenchurch-street 
The  Elephant,  Fenchurch-street 
TTu  African,  St.  MichaePs  Alley 
The  Grave  Maurice  Tavern 
Mathematical  Society,  Spitalfields 
Globe  Tavern,  Fleet-street  . 


PAGE 
362 

373- 
374 
37+ 
377 
378- 
37& 
379 
380 

381 
381 

382- 

383 

388 

389 
390 
391 
392 
393 
395 
395 
397 
39» 
400 
400 
401 
402 

4°3 
404 


xii                                        CONTENTS. 

FAGB 

The  Devil  Tavern              40S 

The  Yeung  Devil  Tavern  . 

411 

Cock  Tavern,  Fleet-street     . 

411 

The  Hercules'  Pillars  Taverns 

.       •  •        •         . 

413 

Hole-in-the-  Wall  Taverns  . 

. 

415 

The  Mitre,  in  Fleet-street  . 

.  ,> 

416 

Ship  Tavern,  Temple  Bar 

.        •        . 

417 

The  Palsgrave  Head,  Temple  Bar 

418 

Heycock's,  Temple  Bar       .... 

419 

The  Crown  and  Anchor,  Strand 

419, 

The  Canary-House,  in  the  Strand 

420 

The  Fountain  Tavern 

421 

Tavern  Life  of  Sir  Richard  Steele 

422 

Clare  Market  Taverns       .... 

423 

The  Craven  Head,  Drtiry  Lane 

424 

The  Cock  Tavern,  in  Bow-street 

425 

The  Queen's  Head,  Bow-street    . 

427 

The  Shakspeare  Tavern      .... 

427 

Shuter,  and  his  Tavern  Places    .         .      .  . 

429 

The  Pose  Tavern,  Covent  Garden 

429 

Evan^s,  Covent  Garden    .         .         .        . ' 

431 

The  Fleece,  Covent  Garden 

433 

The  Bedford  Head,  Covent  Garden     , 

434 

The  Salutation,  Tavistock-street . 

434 

The  Constitution  Tavern,  Covent  Garden    . 

435 

The  Cider  Cellar      .         .         .         ... 

436 

Offley's,  Henrietta^street      .         .         .         . 

•     437 

The  Rummer  Tavern        .         . 

438 

Spring  Garden  Taverns    .... 

439 

^' Heaven"  and  " Hell"  Taverns,  Westminster 

441 

"Bellamy's  Kitchen" 

• 

.     443 

CONTENTS.  xiii 

PAGE 

A  Coffee-house  Canary-bird 444 

Star  and  Garter,  Pall  Mall       .         .        .        o        .     445 
Thatched  Howe  Tavern,  St.  yarned s-street  .    450 

^^  The  Running  Footman"  May  Fair  ,        .        ,  452 

Piccadilly  Inns  and  Tatems      .         .  -         «     453 

Islin^on  Taverns 456 

Copenhagen  House 460 

Topham,  the  Strong  Man,  and  his  Taverns         .        .463 

The  Castle  Tavern,  Holborn 464 

Marylebone  and  Padditigton  Taverns  .         .         ,     466 

Kensington  and  Brompton  Taverns     :        .         .         .472 

Knightsbridge  Taverns .477 

Ranelagh  Gardens    ....  •         .     483- 

Cremome  Tavern  and  Gardens 484 

The  Mulberry  Garden 485 

Pimlico  Taverns 485 

Lambeth, —  Vauxhall  Taverns  and  Gardens,  etc, .         .487 

Freemason^  Lodges 489 

Whitebait  Taverns 492 

The  London  Tavern  ....  .     498 

The  Clarendon  Hotel         ....  502 

Freemasons^  Tavern,  Great  Queen' s-streef    .  -504 

The  Albion,  Aldersgate-slreet      .        ,         ,        ,         -     S°^ 

St.  Jame^s  Hall 5°7 

Theatrical  Taverns   ...         .        ^        .  508 

APPENDIX. 

AlmacKs  ....  .        .        •     S^P 

Clubs  at  the  Thatched  House      .        .         .  •     S'^ 

The  Kit-kat  Club      ...  ...    511 


CONTENTS. 


Watier's  Club  .... 

Clubs  of  1814 

Gaming-Houses  kept  by  Ladies  . 

Beef-sieak  Society       .... 

Whitis  Club   ... 

The  Royal  Academy  Club  . 

Destruction  of  Taverns  by  Ftre  . 

The  Tzar  of  Muscovy's  Head,  Tower-street 

Hose  Tavern,  Tower-street 

The  Nag's  Head  Tavern,  Cheapside  . 

The  Hummums,  Covent  Garden 

Origin  of  Tavern  Signs 

Index       .    .       ... 


PAGE 

5" 
S13 
S14 
S16 
517 
518 

5^9 
519 

520 
522 

523 
524 
533 


CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON 


THE  BELL  A  T  EDMONTON. 


Famous  in  connexion  witli  John  Gilpin's  Ride,  and  more  recently  as  i 
favourite  resting-place  of  Charles  Lamb  when  out  walking. 


CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 


Origin  of  Clubs. 

THE  Club,  in  the  general  acceptation  of  the  term,  may- 
be regarded  as  one  of  the  earliest  offshoots  of  Man's 
habitually  gregarious  and  social  inclination ;  and  as  an 
instance  of -that  remarkable  influence  which,  in  an  early 
stage  of  society,  .tiie  powers  of  Nature  exercise  over  the 
fortunes  of  mankind.     It  may  not  be  traceable  to  the  time 

Wlien  Adam  dolve,  and  Eve  span  ; 

but,  it  is  natural  to^imagine  that  concurrent  with  the  force 
of  nu^iibers  must  Tiavfe  incre?ised  the  tepde;ncy  of  men  to 
associat,^  for,  some  common ,  object,  T)iig  ma,y  have  been 
the  enjoyment  of  the  staple  of  life  ;  for,  our  elegant  Essayist, 
writing  with ,  ages .  of  experience  at  his  beck,  has  truly 
said  "  all  celebrated  Clubs  were  founded  upqn  eating  and 
drinking,  which  are  points  where  most  men  agrep,  and  in 
which  the  learned  and  the  illiterate,  the  dull  and  the 
airy,  the  philosopher  and  the  buffoon,  can  all  of  them  bear 
a  part." 

For  special  proof  of  the  antiquity  of  the  practice  -it  may 
suffice  to  refer  to  the  polished  Athenians,  who  had,  besides 
their  general  symJ>osia,  {nendly  meetings,  where  every  one 
sent  his  own  portion  of  the  feast,  bore  a  proportionate  part  of 
the  expense,  or  gave  a  pledge  at  a  fixed  price.  A  regard  for 
clubbism  existed  even  in  Lycurgan  Sparta :  the  public  tables 
consisted  generally  of  fifteen  persons  each,  and  all  vacancies 


2  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

were  filled  up  by  ballot,  in  which  unanimous  consent  was 
indispensable  for  election ;  and  the  other  laws,  as  described 
by  Plutarch,  differ  but  slightly  from  those  of  modern  Clubs. 
Justus  Lipsius  mentions  a  bonS.  fide  Roman  Club,  the 
members  of  which  were  bound  by  certain  organised  rules 
and  regulations.  Cicero  records  {De  Senedute)  the  pleasure 
he  took  in  frequentipg  tlje  meetings  of  "those  social  Jarties 
of  his  time,  termed  confraternities,  where,  according  to  a 
good  old  custom,  a  president  was  appointed  j  and  he  adds 
that  the  principal  satisfaction  he  received  from  such  enter- 
tainments, arose  much  lesfe  "from  the  pleasures  of  the  palate 
than  from  the  opportunity  thereby  afforded  him  of  enjoying 
excellent  company  and  conversation.*  .' 

The  cognomen  Club  claims  descent  from  the  Anglo- 
Saxon  ;  for  Skinner  derives  it  from  clifian,  cleofiah  (our 
cleave),  from  the  division  of  the  reckoning  amoiig  the  guests 
around  the  table.  The  word  signifies  uniting  to  divide,  like 
clave,  including  the  correlative  meanings  to  adhere  and  to 
separate.  "  In  conclusion,  Club  is  evidently^  as  faras  form 
is  concerned,  derived  from  cleave  "  (to  split),  but  in  signifi- 
cation it  would  seem  to  be  more .  closely  alied  to  cleave  (to 
adhere).  It  is  not  surprising  that  two  verbs,  identical  in 
form  (in  Eng.)  and  connected  in  signification,  should  sorno- 
ticnes  coalesce.t 

To  the  Friday-street  or  more  properly  Bread-street  Club, 
said  to  have  been  originated  by  Sir  Walter.  Raleigh,  was 
long  assigned  the  priority  of  date  in  England  ;  but  we  have 
an  instance  of  two  centuries  earlier.  In  the  reign  of 
Henry  IV.,  there  was  a  Club  called  "  La  Court  de  bone 


*  Sketch  of  the  Rise  and  Progress  of  the  Royal  Society  Club.  i860. 
(Not  published.) 

t  Notes  and  Queries,  3rd  S.  i.  p.  295,  in  which  is  noted  : — "A  good 
illustration  of  the  coiinexion  between  the  ideas  of  division  and  union 
is  afforded  by  the  two  equivalent  words  partner  and  associi,  the  former 
pointing  especially  to  thetfivision  of  profits,  the  latter  to  the  community 
of  interests." 


ORIGIN  OF  CLUBS.  3 

Compagnie,"  of  which  the  worthy  old  poet  Occleve  was  a 
member,  and  probably  Chaucer.  In  the  works  of  the 
former  are  two  ballads,  written  about  1413 ;  one,  a  congratu- 
lation from  the  brethren  to  Henry  Somer,  on  his  appoint- 
ment of  the  Sub-Treasurer  of  the  Exchequer,  ajid  who 
received  Chaucer's  pension  for  him.  In  the  other  ballad, 
Occleve,  after  dwelling  on  some  of, their  rules  and  obser- 
vances, gives  Somer  notice  that  he  is  expected  to  be  in  the 
chair  at  their  next  meeting,  and  that  the  "  styward  "  has 

warned  him  that  he  is 

for  the  dyiier  arraye 
Ageyn  Thirsday  next,  and  nat  is  delaye. 

That  there  were  certain  conditions  to  be  observed-  by 
this  Society,  appears  from  the  latter .  epistle,,  which  com- 
mences with  an  answer  to  a  letter  of  remonstrance  the 
"  Court "  has  received  from  Henry  Somer,  against  some 
undue  extravagance,  and  a- breach  of  their  rules:*  This 
Society  of  four  centuries  and  a  half  since  was  evidently  a 
jovial  company.  ,;,.,, 

Still,  we  do  not  yet  find  the  term  '.'  Club  J'  Mr.  Carlyle, 
in  his  History  of  Frederick  the  Great,  assumes  that  the  vow 
of  the  Chivalry  Orders — Geliibde — in  vogue  about  A.b.  1190, 
"  passed  to  us  in  a  singularly  dwindled  condition  :  Club  we 
now  call  it."  To  this  it  is  objected  that^  the  mere  re- 
semldance  in  sound  of  Geliibde  scaAClubAs  inconclusive,  for 
the  Orders  of  Templars,  HospitaUets,  and  Prussian  Knights, 
were  never  called  clubs  in  England ;  and  the  origin  of  the 
noun  need  not  be  sought  for  beyond  its  verb  to  f/«^i  when 
persons  joined  in  papng  the  cost  of  the  mutual  entertain- 
ment. Moreover,  .^/«^^  in  German  means  the  social  (r/«^  ; 
and  that  word  is  borrowed  from  the  English,  the  native 
word  being  Zeche,  which,   from  its  root  and  compound. 


*  Notes  and  Queries,  No.  234,   p.   383.     Communicated  by  Mr 
Edward  Foss,  F,S.A. 

B   2 


4  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON 

conveys  the  idea  generally  of  joint  expenditure,  and  sp^ecially 
in  drinking.*      '     '  ■-  . .      i 

Aljout  the  end  of  the  Sixteenth  or  the  beginning  of  the 
seventeenth  century,  there  was  established  the  fanltfus  Club 
at  the  Mermaid  Tkvem,  in  Br^id-street,  of  which  Shak- 
speare,  Beaumont^  Fletcher,  Raleigh,  Selden,  Donne,  &c., 
were  members.  Ben  Jonson  had  a  Club,  of  which  he 
appears  to  have  been  the  founder,  that  met  at  the  Devil 
Tavern,  between  Middle-Temple  gate  and  Temple  Bar. 

Not  until  shortly  after  this  date  do  we  find  the  word  Club. 
Aubrey  says :  "  We  now  use  the  word  dvbbe  for  a  sodality  in 
a  taveme."  In  1659,  Aubrey  became  a  member  of  the 
Rota,  a  political  Glut),  which  met  at  the  Turk's  Head,  in 
New  Palace  Yard :  "  here  we  had,"  says  Aubrey,  "  (very 
formally)  a  balloting  box,  and  balloted  how  things  should  be 
carried,  by  way  of  "Tentamens.  The  room  was  every  even- 
ing as  full  as  it  could  be  crammed. "f  Of  this  Rota  political 
Club  we  shall  presently  say  more.  It  is  worthy  of  notice 
that  politics  were  thus  early  introduced  in  English  Club-lifg. 
Dryden,  some  twenty  years  after  the  above  date,  asks  : 
"What  right  has. any  man  to  meet  in  factious  Clubs  to 
vilify  the  Govemnient  ?" 

'  Three  years  after  the  •  Great  Fire,  in  1669,  there  was 
established  in:  the  City,- the  Civil  Club,  whicli  exists  to  this 
day.  All  the  members  are  citizens,  and  are  proud  of  their 
Society,  oh  account  of  its  !  antiquity,  and  of  its  being  the 
only  Club  which  attaches  to  its  staff  the  reputed  office  of  a 
chaplain.  The  members  appealr  to  have  first  clubbed 
together  foi  the  sake  of  mutual  aid  and  support ;  but  the 
name  of  the  founder  of  the  Club,  and  the  circumstances  of 
its  origin,  have  unfortunately  been  lost  with  its  early 
records.     The    time   at  which  it  was  established  was  one 


*  Notes  and  Queries,  2nd  S.  vol.  xii.  p.  386.      Communicated  by 
Mr.  Buckton. 
t  Memoir  of  Aubrey,  by  John  Britton,  410,  p.  36. 


ORIGIN  OF  CLUBS.  S 

of  severe  trials^i  when  the  Great  Plague  and  the,  Great 
Eire  had  broken  up  much  society,  and  many  old  assbqiations ; 
the  object  and  recommendation 'being,  as  one  of  the  rules 
expresses  it,  "that  members  should. give  preference. to  each 
other  in  their  respective  callings;"  and,, that  "but  one 
person  of  the  same  trade  or  profession  should  be  a  member 
of  the  Club."  This  is  the  rule  of  ±e  old  middle>-class  clubs 
called  "One  of  a  Trade." 

The  Civil  Club  met  for  many  years  at  the  Old  ^Ship 
Tavern,  in  Water-lane,  upon  which  being  takeri.down,  the 
Club  removed  to  the  New  Corn  Exchange,  .Tavern,  in  Mark- 
lane.  The  records,  which  are  extant,  show  among  former 
members  Parliament  men,  baronets,  and  aldermen ;  ,  the 
chaplain  is  the  incumbent  of  St.  Olave-by-the-Tower,  Hart- 
street  Two  high '  carved  chairs,  be;aring  date  1669,  are 
used  by  the  stewards. .  .  :      ,  ,  ; 

-  At  the  time  of  th§  Revolution,  the  fTre^pn :  Club,  as  it 
was  commonly  called,  'met  at  the  Rosp  Tavern,  in  Covent 
GaFden;  to  consult  with, Lord  .Colchestej,  Mr.  Thpmas 
Whaiton,  Colonel  Talmash,  Colonel  Godfrey,  and,  many 
Oitherg  cff  their  party ;  and  tit  was  .thfre  resqlved  that  the 
regiment. under  Lieutetfant-.Colonel  Lapgstone's  con)n>and, 
should  desert,  en  tire,,  as  they  did,  on  Sunday,  Npv.,  i§§8.* 

In  Friday-street,  Cheapside,  was  held  .tji?  'Wednesday 
Club,  at  which,  in  1695,  certain  .conferences,  tpok  Tilace 
under 4he,  direction  of  Willijim  ,Pa,ter?pjn,-whiplji;;iultima,tely 
Ipd  to  the, establishment  of  the; Baaks.^pfr, England.  Such,  is 
the  general  belief  j.butlMn.'Saxe. Bannister,  in  .his  ,Z«/^  of 
Pater-^on,  p.  93,  obsicrves  :,',"  It  >as,been  3,,niatter  .of  much 
doubt  whether  the  .'Bank  of  England  was  originally  proposed 
from  a  Club  or  Society  ;in  the  City  oil^ndon.  .jTJie  Dialogue 
Conferences  of  the  Wedmdaj! .  GM,  '\n  Friday-street,  have 
been  quoted  as  if  first,  published  ipL,,,i$9S,  No  auch 
publication  has  been  met  with  of  a  date:  before,  J 7°^  '"  ^Pd 

•  Macphersdn's  History  of  tnglaml, Vol;, iiu— Original  jpajjcrs. 


6  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

Mr.  Bannister  states  his  reasons  for  supposing  it  was  not 
preceded  by  any  other  book.  Still,  Paterson  wrote  the 
papers  entitled  the  Wednesday  Club  Conferences. 

Club  is  defined  by  Dr.  Johnson  to  be  "  an  assembly  of 
good  fellows,  meeting  under  certain  conditions;"  but  by 
Todd,  "an  association  of  persons  subjected  to  particular 
rules."  It  is  plain  that  the  latter  definition  is  at  least  not 
that  of  a  Club,  as  distinguished  from  any  other  kind  of 
association;  although  it  may  be  more  comprehensive  than 
is  necessary,  to  take  in  all  the  gatherings  that  in  modern 
times'  have'  assumed  the  name  of  Clubs.  Johnson's,  how- 
ever, is  the  more  exact  account  of  the  true  old  Enghsh 
Club. 

The  golden  period  of  the  Clubs  was,  however,  in  the  time 
of  the  Spectator,  in  whose  rich  humour  their  memories  are 
embalmed.  "  Man,"  writes  Addison,  in  No.  9,  "is  said  to 
be  a  sociable  animal  \  and  as  an  instance  of  it  we  may '  ob- 
serve, that  we  take  all  occasions  and  pretences  of  forming 
ourselves  into  those  little  nocturnal  assemblies,  which  are 
commonly  known  by  the  name  of  Clubs.  When  a  set  of 
men  find  themselves  agree  in  any  particular,  though  never 
so  trivial,  they  establish  themselves  into  a  kind  of  fraternity, 
and  meet  once  or  twice  a  week,  upon  the  account  of  such  a 
fantastic  resemblance." 

Pall  Mall  was  noted  for  its  tavern  Clubs  more  than  two 
centuries  since.  "  The  first  time  that  Pepys  mentions  Pell 
Mell,"  writes  Cunningham,  "is  under  the  26th  of  July,  1660, 
where  he  says  'We  went  to  Wood's  (our  old  house  foi 
clubbing),  and  there  we  spent  till  ten  at  night.'  This  is 
not  only  one  of  the  earhest  references  to  Pall  Mall  as  an  in- 
habited locality,  but  one  of  the  earhest  uses  of  the  word 
'  clubbing,'  in  its  modern  signification  of  a  Club,  and  ad- 
ditionally interesting,  seeing  that  the  street  still  maintains 
what  Johnson  would  have  called  its  '  clubbable '  character."' 

Ixi  Spends  Anecdotes  {Supplemental),  we  read:  "There 
was  a  Club  held  at  the  King's  Head,  in  Pall  Mall,  that 


THE  MERMAID  CLUB.  7 

arrogantJy  called  itself  '  The  World.'  Lord  Stafihope,  then 
(now  Lord  Chesterfield),  Lord  Herbert,  &c.,  were  members. 
Epigrams  were  proposed  to  be  written  on  the  glasses,  by 
each  member  after  dinner;  once,  when  Dr.  Young  was 
invited  thither,  the  Doctor  would  have  declined  writing, 
because  he  had  no  diamond  :  Lord  Stanhope  lent  him  his, 
and  he  wrote  immediately — 

Accept  a  miracle,  instead  of  wit ; 

See  two  dull  lines  with  Stanhope's  pencil  writ. 

The  first  modem  Club  mansion  in  Pall  Mall  was  No.  86, 
opened  as  a  subscription  house,  called  the  Albion  Hotel. 
It  was  originally  built  for  Edward  Duke  of  York,  brother 
of  George  IIL,  and  is  now  the  office  of  Ordnance. 
(Correspondence.) 

The  Mermaid  Club. 

This  fainous  Club  was  held  at  the  Mermaid  Tavern,  which 
was  long  said  to  have  stood  in  Friday-street,  Cheapside ; 
but  Ben  Jonson  has,  in  his  own  verse,  settled  it  in  Bread- 
street  : 

At  Bread-street's  Mermaid  having  dined  and  merry, 
Proposed  to  go  to  Holbom  in  a  wherry. 

Ben  Jonson,  ed.  Gifford,  viii.  342. 

Mr.  Hunter  also,  in  his  Notes  on  Shakspeare,  tells  us  that 
Mr.  Johnson,  at  the  Mermaid,  in  Bread-Street,  vintner, 
occurs  as  creditor  for  I'js.  in  a  schedule  annexed  to  the  will 
of  Albain  Butler,  of  CliflFord's  Inn,  gentleman,  in  1603. 
Mr.  Bum,  in  the  Beaufoy  Catalogue,  also  explains :  "  the 
Mermaid  in  Bread-street,  the  Mermaid  in  Friday-street,  and 
the  Mermaid  in  Cheap,  were  all  one  and  the  same.  The 
tavern,  situated  behind,  had  a  way  to  it  from  these  thorough- 
fares, but' was  nearer  to  Bread-street  than  Friday-street"  In 
a  note,  Mr.  Burn  adds  :  "  The  site  of  the  Mermaid  is  clearly 
defined  firom  the  circumstance  of  W.  R.,  a  haberdasher  ol 
small  wares,  '  twixt  Wood-street  and  Milk-street,'  adopting 


8  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

the  same  sign  '  over  against  the, Mermaid  Tavern  in  Cheap- 
side.'  "    The  Tavern  was  destroyed  in  the  Great  Fire. 

Here  Sir  Walter  Raleigh  is  traditionjilly,  said  to  have  in- 
stituted "  The  Mermaid  Club."  Gifford  has  thus  described 
the  Club,  adopting  the  tradition  and  the  Friday-street  loca- 
tion :  "  About  this  time  [1603]  Jonson  probably  began  to 
acquire  that  turn  for  conviviality  for  which  he  was  afterwards 
noted.  Sir  Walter  Raleigh,  previously  to  his  unfortunate 
engagement  with  the  wretched  Cobham  and  others,  had 
instituted  a  meeting  of  beaux  esprits  at  the  Mermaid,  a 
celebraVed'  tavern  in  Friday-street.  '  Of  this  Club,  which 
combined  more  talent  aiid  genius  than  ever  met  together 
before  or  since^  our  'author  was  a  member;  and  here 
for  many  years  he  regularly  repaired, '  'with '  Shakspeare, 
Beaumont,  Fletcher,  Selden,  Cotton,  Carew,  Martin,  Doririe, 
and  many  others,  whose  names,  even  at  this  distant  period, 
call  up  a  mingled  feeling  of  reverence  and  respect."  But 
this  is  doubted. :  A  writer  in  the  Athenceum,  Sept.  16, 1.S65, 
states;  "The  origin  of  the  common  tale  of  R.aleigli  founding 
the .  Mermaid  Club,  of  which  Shakspeare  is  paid  to  have  been 
a  member,  has  not  been  traced.  Is  it  older  than  Gifford?" 
Again :  "  Gifford's  apparent-  invention  of  the  Mermaid  Club. 
Prove  to  us  that  Raleigh  founded  the  Mermaid  Club,  that 
the  wits  alteridfed  it  under  his  presidency,  and  you  will  have 
made  a  real  contribution  to  our  knowledge  of  Shakspeaie's 
time,  even  if  you  fail  to  shovy.  that  our  Poet  was  a  member-; 
of  that  Club.!',  The. tradition,  it  is  thought,  must  be  added 
to  the  long  list  of  Shakspearian  dpnbts. 

Nevertheless,  Fuller  has  described  the  wit-comba,ts  be-^' 
tween  Shakspeare  and  Ben  Jon$pn,  "which  he  beheld," 
meaning  with  his  mind's  eye,  for  he  was  only  eight  years  of - 
age  when , Shakspearp  :died;  "a  circumstancej"  says  Mr.^ 
Charles  Knight,  .'^whi^  appears  to- have  been  forgotten  by 
some  wh.o,have  written,  of  ,thfse-; matters.",,  But  we  have  a 
noble  jrecjprd  left  of  the  wit-combats  in  the  celebrated  epistle 
of  Beaumont,^o  Jonson -i^  ,  , -.-       , 


THE  APOLLO  CLUB.  9 

Methinks  the  litfle  wit  I  had  is  lost 
■  ^        Since  I  saw  you.;  for  wit  is  like  a  rest 

Held  up  at  tennis,  which  men  do  the  best 

With  the  best  gamesters  :  what  things  have  we  seen 

Done  at  the  Mermaid. !  heard, wor^s  that  have  been 

So  nimble,  a^d  so  full  of  subtile  flame. 

As  if  that  every  one  from  whence  they  came 

Had  meant  to  put  his  whole  wit  in  a  jest. 

And  had  fesolv'd  to  live  a  fool  the  rest    ; 

Of  his  dull  life  j  then  when  there  hath  been  thrown 

Wit  able  enough  to  justify  the  town 

For  three  days  past,  wit  that  might  warrant  be 

For  the  whole  city  to  talk  foolishly 

'Till  that  were  cancell'd  ;  and  when  that  was  gone 

We  left  an  air  behind  us,  which  alone 

Was  able  to  make  the  two  next  companies 

Right  witty ;  though  but  downright  fools,  -mere  wise. 

The  Apollo  Club. 

The  noted  tavern,  with  the, sign  of  St.  Dunstan  pulling  the 
Devil  by  the  nose,  stood  between  Temple  Bar  and  the 
Middle  Temple  gate.  It  was  a  bouse  of  great  resort  in  the 
reign  of  James  I.,  and  then  kept  by  Simon  Wadloe. 

In  Ben  Jonson's  Stable  of  News,  played  in  1625,  Penny- 
boy  Canter  advises,  to 

Dine  in  Apollo,  with  Pecunia 
At  brave  Duke  Wadloe's. 

Pennyboy  junior  replies — 

Content,  i'th' faith;   ;  .  ,      •  . 

i    ,Our  meal  shall  be  brought  thither  \  Simon  the  King 
Will  bid  us  welcome. 

At  whatr  period  Ben  Jonson  began  to  frequent  ;this  tavern 
is  not  certain;  but  we  have  his  record  that  he  wrote  The 
DeviLis  an  Asse^ -p^ysA  '^^  1,616,  when  he  and  his  .boys 
(adopted  sons)  "drank  bad  wine  at  the  Devil."  The 
principalroom  was  called ',' the  Oracle  of.  Apollo,"  a  large 
room  evidently  built  apart,  from  the  tavern  ;  and  from  Prior's 


10  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

and  Charles  Montagu's  Hind  and  Panther  Transversed  it  is 
shown  to  have  been  an  upper  apartment,  or  on  the  first 

story : — 

Hence  to  the  Devil — 

Thus  to  the  place  where  Jonson  sat,  we  climb, 

Leaning  on  the  same  rail  that  guided  him. 

Above  the  door  was  the  bust  of  Apollo;  and  the  following 
verses,  "  the  Welcome,"  were  inscribed  in  gold  letters  upon 
a  black  board,  and  "placed  over  the  door  at  the  entrance 
into  the  Apollo 

Welcome  all,  who  lead  or  follow, 

To  the  Oracle  of  Af  olio — 

Here  he  speaks  out  of  his  pottle, 

Or  the  tripos,  his  Tower  bottle  ; 

All  his  answers  are  divine. 

Truth  itself  doth  flow  in  wine. 

Hang  up  all  the  poor  hop-drinkers, 

Cries  old  Sim  the  king  of  skinkers  ; 

He  that  half  of  life  abuses, 

That  sits  watering  with  the  Muses. 

Those  dull  girls  no  good  can  mean  us  ; 

Wine  it  is  the  milk  of  Venus, 

And  the  Poet's  horse  accounted  : 

Ply  it,  and  you  all  are  mounted. 

'Tis  the  true  Phoebeian  liquor. 

Cheers  the  brain,  makes  wit  the  quicker, 

Pays  all  debts,  cures  all  diseases. 

And  at  once  three  senses  pleases. 

Welcome  all,  who  lead  or  follow, 

To  the  Oracle  of  A  folio. 

Beneath  these  verses  was  the  name  of  the  author,  thus 
inscribed — "  O  Rare  Ben  Jonson,"  a  posthumous  tribute 
from  his  grave  in  Westminster  Abbey.  The  bust  appears 
modelled  from  the  Apollo  Belvedere,  by  some  skilful  person 
of  the  olden  day,  but  has  been  several  times  painted.  "  The 
Welcome,"  originally  inscribed  in  gold  letters,  on  a  thick 
black-painted  board,  has  since  been  wholly  repainted  and 
gilded  ;  but  the  old  thickly-lettered  inscription  of  Ben's  day 
may  be  seen  as  an  embossment  upon  the  modern  painted 


■  THE  APOLLO  CLUB.  n 

background.     These  poetic  memorials  are  both  preserved  in 
the  banking-house  of  the  Messrs.  Child. 

" The  Welcome,"  says  Mr.  Burn,  "it  may  be  inferred, 
\vas  placed  in  the  interior  of  the  room  j  so  also,  above  the 
fireplace,  were  the  Rules  of  the  Club,  said  by  early  writers 
to  have  been  inscribed  in  marble,  but  were  in  truth  gilded 
letters  upon  a  black-painted  board,  similar  to  the  verses  of 
the  Welcome.  These  Rules  are  justly  admired  for  the  con- 
ciseness and  elegance  of  the  Latinity.''  They  have  been 
felicitously  translated  by  Alexander  Broome,  one  of  the  wits 
who  frequented  the  Devil,  and  who  was  one  of  Ben  Jonson's 
twelve  adopted  poetical  sons.  Latin  inscriptions  were  also 
placed  in  other  directions,  to  adorn  the  house.  Over  the 
clock  in  the  kitchen,  in  1731,  there  remained  "  Si  nocturna 
tibi  noceat  potatio  vini,  hoc  in  mane  hibes  iterum,  et  fuerit 
medicina.''  Aubrey  reports  his  uncle  Danvers  to  have  said 
that  "  Ben  Jonson,  to  be  near  the  Devil  tavern,  in  King 
James's  time,  lived  without  Temple-barre,  at  a  combe- 
maker's  shop,  about  the  Elephant  and  Castle  /'  and  James 
Lord  Scudamore  has,  in  his  Homer  d  la  Mode,  a  travesty, 

said — 

Apollo  had  a  flamen, 
Who  in  's  temple  did  say  Amen. 

This  personage  certainly  Ben  Jonson  represented  in  the  great 
room  of  the  Devil  Tavern.  Hither  came  all  who  desired  to 
be  "  sealed  of  the  tribe  of  Ben."  "  The  Leget  Conviviales,'' 
says  Leigh  Hunt,  "which  Jonson  wrote  for  his  Club,  and 
which  are  to  be  found  in  his  works,  are  composed  in  his 
usual  style  of  elaborate  and  compiled  learning,  not  without 
a  taste  of  that  dictatorial  self-sufficiency,  which,  notwith- 
standing all  that  has  been  said  by  his  advocates,  and  the 
good  qualities  he  undoubtedly  possessed,  forms  an  indelible 
part  of  his  character.  '  Insipida  poemata,'  says  he,  '  nulla 
recitaniur'  (Let  nobody  repeat  to  us  insipid  poetry) ;  as  if 
all  that  he  should  read  of  his  own  must  infallibly  be  other- 
wise.     The  Club  at  the  Devil  does  not  appear  to  have 


12  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

resembled  the  higher  one  at  the  Mermaid,  where  Shakspeaie 
and  Beaumont  used  to  meet  him.  He  most  probably  had 
it  aU  to  himself." 

In  the  Rules  of  the  Apollo  Club,  women  of  character 
were  not  excluded  from  attending  the  meetings— /'/-(7iJ« 
feminee  non  repudiantur.  Marmion,  one  of  Jonson's  con- 
temporary dramatists,  describes  him  in  his  presidential  chair, 
as  "  the  boon  Delphic  god :" — 

Careless.  I  am  full 

Of  Oracles.     I  am  come  from  Apollo. 

Emilia.  From  Apollo  ! 

Careless.  From  the  heaven 

Of  my  delight,  where  the  boon  Delphic  god 
Drinks  sack,  and  keeps  his  bacchanalia, 
And  has  his  incense  and  his  altars  smoaking, 
And  speaks  in  sparkling  prophecies  ;  thence  I  come, 
My  brains' perfutiied  with  the  rich  Indian  vapour, 
And  heightened  with  conceits.     From  tempting  beauties, 
From  dainty  music  and  poetic  strains. 
From  bowls  of  nectar  and  ambrosial  dishes. 
From  witty  varlets,  'fine  coinpanion's, 
And  froni  a  mighty  continent  of  pleasilre. 
Sails  thy  brave  Careless. 

Randolph  was  by  Ben- Jonson- adopted  for  his  son,  and 
that  upon  the  following  occasion.  "Mr.  Randolph  having, 
been  at  London  so  l6hg  as  that  he  might  truly  have  had  a 
parley  with  his  Empty  Purse,  was  resolved  to  see  Ben 
Jonson,  with  his  associates,  which,  as  he  heard,  at  a  set  time 
kept  a  Club  together  at  the  Devil  Tavern,  neere  Temple 
Ban  accordingly,  at  the  time  appointed,  he  went  thither, 
but  beifig  unknown  to  therh,  and  wanting  money,  which  to 
an  ingenious  spirit  is  the  most  daunting  thing  in  the  world, 
he  peeped  in  the  room  where  they  were,  which  being  espied 
by  Ben  Jonson,  and  seeing  him  in  a  scholar's,  threadbare 
habit, '  John  Bo-peep,'  says  he, '  come  in,'  which  accordingly 
he  did ;  when  immediately  they  began  to  rhyme  upon  the 
meanness  of  liis  clothes,  asking  him  if  he  could  not  make  a 


EARLY  POLITICAL  CLUBS.  13 

verse  ?'  and  without  to  call  for  a  quart  of  sack :  there  being 
four  of  them,  he  immediately  thus  replied, 

"  I,  John  Bo-peep,  to  you  four,  sheep, — 
With  each  one  his  go6d  fleece ; 
If  that  you  are  willing  to  give  me  five  shilling, 
"Ilis  fifteen-pence  aTpiece." 

"  By  Jesus  !"  quoth  Ben  Jonson  (his  usual  oath),  "  I 
believe  this  is  my  son  Randolph;"  which  being  made  known 
to  them,  he  was  kindly  entertained  into  their  company,  and 
Ben  Jonson  ever  after  called  him  son.  He  wrote  The  Muses' 
Looking-glass,  Cambridge  Duns,  Parley  with  his.  Empty 
Purse,  and  other  poems. 

We  shall  have  more  to  say  of  the  Devil  Tavern,  which 
has  other  celebrities  besides  Jonson. 

Early  Political  Clubs. 

Our  Clubs,  or  social  gatherings,  which  date  from  the 
Restoration,  were  exclusively  political.  The  first  we  hear  of 
was  the  noted  Rota,  or  Coffee  Club,  as  Pepys  calls  it,  which 
was  founded  in  1659,  as  a  kind  of  debating  society  for  the 
dissemination  of  Repubhcan  opinions,  which  Harrington 
had  painted  in  his  fairest  colours  in  his  Oceana.  It  met  in 
New  Palace  Yard,  "  where  they  take  water  at  one  Miles's, 
the  next  house  to  the  stares,  at  one  Miles's,  where  was  made 
purposely  a  large  ovall  table,  with  a  passage  in  the  middle 
for  Miles  to  deliver  his  coffee."  Here  Harrington  gave 
-  nightly  lectures  on  the  advantage  of  a  commonwealth  and 
of  the  ballot.  The  Club  derived  its  name  from  a  plan,  which 
it  was  its  design  to  promote,  for  changing  a  certain  number 
of  Members  of  Parliament  annually  by  rotation.  Sir  William 
Petty  was  one  of  its  members.  Round  the  table,  "in  a 
room  every  evening  as  full  as  it  could  be  crammed,"  says 
Aubrey,  sat  Milton  and  Marvell,  Cyriac  Skinner,  Harring- 
ton, Nevill,  and  their  friends,  discussing  abstract  political 
questions.      Aubrey  calls  them  "  disciples   and    virtuosi." 


14  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

The  place  had  its  dissensions  and  brawls  :  ",one  time  Mr. 
Stafford  and  his  friends  came  in  dnmk  from  the  tavern,  and 
affronted  the  Junto ;  the  soldiers  offered  to  kick  them  down 
stayres,  but  Mr.  Harrington's  moderation  and  persuasion 
hindered  it." 

To  the  Rota,  in  January,  1660,  came  Pepys,  and  "heard 
very  good  discourse  in  answer  to  Mr.  Harrington's  answer, 
who  said  that  the  state  of  the  Roman  government  was  not 
a  settled  government ;  and  so  it  was  no  wonder  the  .balance 
of  prosperity  was  in  one  hand,  and  the  command  in  another, 
it  being  therefore  always  in  a  posture  of  war:  but  it  was 
carried  by  ballot  that  it  was  a  steady  government ;  though, 
it  is  true,  by  the  voices  it  had  been  carried  before  that,  that 
it  was  an  unsteady  government.  So  to-morrow  it  is  to  be 
proved  by  the  opponents  that  the  balance  lay  in  one  hand 
and  the  government  in  another."  The  Club  was  broken  up 
after  the  Restoration  ;  but  its  members  had  become  marked 
men.  Harrington's  Oceana  is  an  imaginary  account  of  the 
construction  of  a  commonwealth  in  a  country,  of  which 
Oceana  is  the  imaginary  name.  "  Rota-men"  occurs  by  way 
of  comparison  in  Hudibras,  part  ii.  canto  3  : 

But  Sidrophel,  as  full  of  tricks 
As  Rota-men  of  politics. 

Besides  the  Rota,  there  was  the  old  Royalist  Club,  "The 
Sealed  Knot,"  which,  the  year  before  the  Restoration,  had 
organized  a  general  insurrection  in  favour  of  the  King. 
Unluckily,  they  had  a  spy  amongst  them  —  Sir  Richard 
Willis, — who  had  long  fingered  Cromwell's  money,  as  one 
of  his  private  "  intelligencers ;"  the  leaders,  on  his  mforma- 
tion,  were  arrested,  and  committed  to  prison. 

The  October  Club. 

The  writer  of  an  excellent  paper  in  the  National  Review, 
No.  VIII.,  well  observes  that  "Politics  under  Anne  had 
grown  a  smaller  and  less  dangerous  game  than  in  the  pre- 


THE  OCTOBER  CLUB.  15 

ceding  century.  The  original  political  Clubs  of  the  Common- 
wealth, the  Protectorate,  and  the  Restoration,  plotted  revo- 
lutions of  government.  The  Parliamentary  Clubs,  after  the 
Revolution  of  1688,  manoeuvred  for  changes  of  administra- 
tion. The  high-flying  Tory  country  gentleman  and  country 
member  drunk  the  health  of  the  King — sometinies  over  the 
water-decanter,  and  flustered  himself  with  bumpers  in  honour 
of  Dr.  Sacheverell  and  the  Church  of  England,  with  true- 
blue  spirits  of  his  own  kidney,  at  the  October  Club,  which, 
like  the  Beef  Steak  Club,  was  named  after  the  cheer  for 
which  it  was  i^x&t^,-^October  ale;  or  rather,  on  account  of 
the  quantities  of  the  ale  which  the  members  drank.  The 
hundred  and  fifty  squires,  Tories  to  tlie  backbone,  who, 
under  the  above  name,  met  at  the  Bell  Tavern,  in  King 
Street,  Westminster,  were  of  opinion  that  the  party  to  which 
they  belonged  were  too  backward  in  punishing  and  turning 
out  the  Whigs ;  and  they  gave  uifinite  trouble  to  the  Tory 
administration  which  came  into  office  under  the  leadership 
of  Harley,  St.  John,  and  Harcourt,  in  17 10.  The  Adminis- 
tration were  for  proceeding  moderately  with  their  rivals,  and 
for  generally  replacing  opponents  with  partisans.  The 
October  Club  were  for  immediately  impeaching  every 
member  of  the  Whig  party,  and  for  turning  out,  without  a 
day's  grace,  every  placeman  who  did  not  wear  their  colours 
and  shout  their  cries." 

Swift  was  great  at  the  October  Club,  and  he  was  employed 
to  talk  over  those  who  were  amenable  to  reason,  and  to 
appease  a  discontent  which  was  hastily  ripening  into  mutiny. 
There  are  allusions  to  such  negotiations  in  more  than  one 
passage  of  ^t  Journal  to  Stella,  in  1711.  In  a  letter, 
February  10,  1710-11,  he  says  :  "We  are  plagued  here  with 
an  October  Club ;  that  is,  a  set  of  above  a  hundred  Parlia- 
ment men  of  the  country,  who  drink  October  beer  at  home, 
and  meet  every  evening  at  a  tavern  near  the  Parliament,  to 
consult  affairs,  and  drive  thmgs  on  to  extremes  against  the 
Wings,  to  call  the  old  ministry  to  account,  and  get  off  five 


.  i6  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

or  six  heads."  Swift's  Advice  humbly  offered,  to  the  Members 
of  the'  October:  Club,  had  the  desired  effect  of  softening  some, 
and  convincing  others,  until  the  whole  body  of  malcontents 
was  first  divided  and  finally  dissdIVed.  The  treatise  is  a 
masterpiece-  of  Silirift's  political  skill,  judiciously  palliating 
those  ministerial  errors  which  could  not  be  denied,  and 
artfully  intimating  those  excuses,  which,  resting  upon  the 
disposition  of  Queen  Anne  herself,  could;  not,  in  policy  or 
decency,  be  openly  pleaded. 

The  red-hot  "  tantivies,"  for  whose  loyalty  the  October 
Club  was  not  thorough-going  enough,  seceded  from  the 
original  body,  and  formed  "  the  March  Club,"  more  Jaco- 
bite and  rampant  in  its  hatred  of  the  Whigs,  than  the  Society 
from  which  it  branched. 

King  Street  would,  at  this  time,  be  a  strange  location  for 
a  Parliamentary  Club,  like  the  October  j  narrow  and  obscure 
as  is  the  street,  we  must  remember  that  a  century  ago,  it  was 
the  only  thoroughfare  to  the  Palace  at  Westminster  and  the 
Houses  of  Parliament.  When  the  October  was  broken  up, 
the  portrait  of  Queen  Arine,  by  Dahl,^  which  ornamented  the 
club-room,  was  bought  of  the  .Club,  after  the  Queen'Scdeath, 
by  the  Corporation  of  Salisburj*,  and  may  still  bfe  seen'  in 
their  Council-chamber.   (<Z\am\Xy'^^v!!^  Handboih,  and  edit., 

p..  364.)  ,!-..    ;-V  -  , 

The  Saturday,  and  Brothers  Glubs. 

Few  men  appear  to  have  so  well,  studied: the  social. and 
political  objects  of  Club-life  as  Dean^  Swift.  One:  of  his 
resorts  was  the  old  Saturday  Club.  /  JHe.  tells  Stella  (to 
whom  he  specially  reported  most  df.  his  club  arrangements), 
in  1711,  there  were  "  Lord  I^eeper,  Lord  Rivers,;  Mr. 
Secretary,  Mr.  Harley,  and  I."  Ofjthesame  Club  he  writes, 
in  17 13  :  "I  dined  with  Lord. Treasurer,, arid -shaiLagain  to- 
morrow, which  is  his  day,  when  all: the iminjstersi  dine  with 
him.     He  calls  it  whipping-day*i; ,  Itl is .alyfrays  on  Saturday ; 


Relics  of  the  Sublime  Society  of. Beefsteaks. 


The  Old  Gridiron,  recently  sold  at  Christie's. 


The  Rine. 


Old  Badge. 


Modern  Badge. 


THE  SATURDAY,  AND  BROTHERS  CLUBS.  17 

and  we  do,  indeed,  rally  him  about  his  faults  on  that  day, 
I  was  of  the  original  Club,  when  Only  poor  Lord  Rivers, 
Lord  Keeper,  and  Lord  Boliilgbroke  came;  but  now 
Ormond,  Anglesey,  Lord  Stewart,  Dartrticfuth,  and  other 
rabble  intrude,  and  I  scold  at  it ;  but  now  they  pretend  as 
good  a  title  as  I ;  and,  indeed,  many  Saturdays  I  am  not 
there.  The  company  being  too  many,  I  don't  love  it." 
Ir  the  same  year  Swift  framed  the  rules  of  the  Brothers 
-^  Club,  which  met  every  Thursday.  "  The  end  of  our  Club," 
he  says,  "  is  to  advance  conversation  and  friendship,  and  to 
reward  learning  without  interest  or  recommendation.  We 
take  in  none  but  men  of  wit,  or  men  of  interest ;  and  if  we 
go  on  as  we  began,  no  other  Club  in  this  town  will  be  worth 
talking  of." 

The  Journal  about  this  time  is  very  full  of  Brothers  Arran 
and  Dupplin,  Masham  and  Ormond,  Bathurst  and  Harcourt, 
Orrery  and  Jack  Hill,  and  other  Tory  magnates  of  the  Club, 
or  Society  as  Swift  preferred  to  call  it.  We  find  him  enter- 
taining his  "Brothers"  at  the  Thatched  House  Tavein,  in 
St.  James's  Street,  at  the  cost  of  Seven  good  guineas.  He 
must  have  been  an  influential  member;  he  writes:  "We 
are  now,  in  all,  nine  lords  and  ten  commoners.  The  Duke 
of  Beaufort  had  the  confidence  to  propose  his  brother-in- 
law,  the  Earl  of  D'anby,  to  be  a  member,  but  I  opposed  it  so 
warmly,  that  it  was  waived.  Danby  is  not  above  twenty, 
and  we  will 'have' no  more  boys  ;  and  we  want -bftt  two  to 
make  tip  our  n'umb^r."'  I  staid  till  eight,  and 'then  we  all 
went  away  soberly.  The  Duke  of  Ormetfd's  trekt  last  week 
cost  20/.,  though 'it  was  only  four  dishes' and  four  Without 
a  dessert  >■'  arid  I  bespoke  it  in  order  to  beeheap.  Yet  I 
could  not  prevail  to  change '  the  house.'  L"Ord  Treasurer  is 
in  a  rage  with  us  for  being  so  extragaivarit ;  and  the  wine 
was  not  reckoned  neither,  for  that  is  always' brought  in  by- 
him  that  is- president."  '■'  - 

Nftt  long  after  thisj  Swift' writes  :   "'Our  Society  does  not 
meet'  now  as  -aSUal';'  for  which  I  am  blamed;  but  till 

c 


ig  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

Treasurer  will  agree  to  give  us  money  and  employments  to 
bestow,  I  am  averse  to  it,  and  he  gives  us  nothing  but 
promises.  We  now  resolve  to  meet  but  once  a  fortnight, 
and  have  a  committee  every  other  week  of  six  or  seven,  to 
consult  about  doing  some  good.  I  proposed  another  message 
to  Lord  Treasurer  by  three  principal  members,  to  give  a 
hundred  guineas  to  a  certain  person,  and  they  are  to  urge  it 
as  well  as  they  can." 

One  day.  President  Arbuthnot  gives  the  Society  a  dinner, 
dressed  in  the  Queen's,  kitchen  :  "  we  eat  it  in  Ozinda's 
Coifee-house  just  by  St.  James's.  We  were  never  merrier  or 
better  company,  and  did  not  part  till  after  eleven."  In 
May,  we  hear  how  "  fifteen  of  our  Society  dined  together 
under  a  canopy  in  an  arbour  at  Parson's  Green  last  Thurs- 
day.    I  never  saw  anything  so  fine  and  romantic." 

Latterly,  the  Club  removed  to  the  Star  and  Garter,  in 
Pall  Mall,  owing  to  the  dearness  of  the  Thatched  House ; 
after  this,  the  expense  was  wofuUy  complained  of  At  these . 
meetings,  we  may  suppose,  the  literature  of  politics  fomied 
the  staple  of  the  conversation.  The  last  epigram,  the  last, 
pamphlet,  the  last  Examiner,  would  be  discussed  with  keen; 
relish;  and  Swift  mentions  one  occasion  on  which  an  im- 
promptu subscription  was  got  up  for  a  poet,  who  had 
lampooned  Marlborough :  on  which  occasion  all  the  com- 
pany subscribed  two  guineas  each,  except  Swift  himself,' 
Arbuthnot,  and  Friend,  who  only  gave  one.  Bolingbroke, 
who  was  an  active  member,  and  Swift  were  on  a  footing  of 
great  familiarity.  St.  John  used  to  give  capital  dinnel-s  and 
plenty  of  champagne  and  burgundy  to  his  hterary  coadjutor, 
who  never  ceased  to  wonder  at  the  ease  with  which  our 
Secretary,  got  through  his  labours,  and  who  worked  for  him 
in  turn  with  the  sincerest  devotion,  though  always,  asserting 
his  equality,  in  the  sturdiest  manner. 

Many  pleasant  glimpses  of  convivial  meetings  are  afforded 
in  the  Journal  to  Stella,  when  there  was  "  much  drinking, 
little  thinking,"  and  the  business  which  they  had  met  to 


THE  SATURDAY,  AND  BROTHERS  CLUBS.  19 

consider  was  deferred  to  a  more  convenient  season. 
Whether  (observes  a  contemporary)  the  power  of  conversa- 
tion has  declined  or  not,  we  certainly  fear  that  the  power  of 
drinking  has  ;  and  the  imagination  dwells  with  melancholy 
fondness  on  that  state  of  society  in  which  great  men  were 
not  forbidden  to  be  good  fellows,  which  we  fancy,  whether 
rightly  or  wrongly,  must  have  been  so  superior  to  ours,  in 
which  wit  and  eloquence  succumb  to  statistics,  and  claret 
has  given  place  to  coffee. 

The  Journal  to  Stella  reveals  Swift's  sympathy  for  poor 
starving  authors,  and  how  he  carried  out  the  objects  of  the 
Society,  in  this  respect.  Thus,  he  goes  to  see  "  a  poor  poet, 
one  Mr.  Diaper,  in  a  nasty  garret,  very  sick,"  described  in 
the  Journal  as  "  the  author  of  the  Sea  Eclogues,  poems  of 
Mermen,  resembling  pastorals  and  shepherds ;  and  they  are 
very  pretty  and  the  thought  is  new."  -Then  Swift  tells  us  he 
thinks  to  recommend  Diaper  to  the  Society ;  he  adds,  "I 
must  do  something  for  him,  and  get  him  out  of  the  way. 
I  hate  to  have  any  new  wits  rise;  but  when  they  do 
rise,  I  would  encourage  them ;  but  they  tread  on  our 
heels  and  thrust  us  off  the  stage."  Only  a  few  days  before. 
Swift  had  given  Diaper  twenty  guineas  from  Lord  Bolihg- 
broke. 

Then  we  get  at  the  business  of  "  the  Brothers,"  when  we 
learn  that  the  printer  attended  the  dinners  ;  and  the  Journal 
tells  us  :  "There  was  printed  a  Grub-street  speech  of  Lord 
Nottingham,  and  he  was  such  an  owl  to  complain  of  it 
in  the  House  of  Lords,  who  have  taken  up  the  printer  for  it. 
I  heard  at  Court  that  Walpole,  (a  great  Whig  member,)  said 
that  I.  and  my  whimsical  Club  writ  it  at  one  of  our  meetings, 
and  that  I  should  pay  for  it.  He  will  find  he  lies ;  and  I 
shall  let  him  know  by  a  third  hand  my  thoughts  of  him." 
.  .  .  "To-day  I  published  The  Fable  of  Midas,  a  poem 
printed  on  a  loose  half-sheet  of  paper.  I  know  not  how  it 
will  take;  but  it  passed  wonderfully  at  our  Society  to- 
night."     At   one   dinner,   the   printer's  news   is   that   the 

c  2 


20  CLUB  LIFE  OF  J.0NO0N. 

Chancellor  of  the  Exdiequerhad  sent  Mr*  Adisworth,.  the 
author  of  the  Examiner,  .tvicenty  guineas. 

There  were  gay  sparks  among  "  the  Brothers,"  as  Colonel 
or  "Duke  "  Disney,  "a  fellow  of  abundance  of  humour,  an 
old  battered  rake,  but  very  honest ;  not  an  old  man,  -but  an 
old  rake.  It  was  he  that  said  of  Jenny  Kingdown,  the  maid 
of  honour,  who  is  a  little  old,  '  that  since  she  could  not  get 
a  husband,  the  Queen  should  give  her  a  brevet  to  act  as  a 
married  woman.'" — Journal  to  Stella. 

The  Scriblefus  Club. 

"  The  Brothers,''  as  we  have  already  seen,  was  a  political 
Club,  which, .  having  in  great  measure  served  its  purpose, 
was  broken  up.  Next  year,.  I7i4',  Swift  ;  was  again  in 
London,  and  in  place  of  "the  Brothers,". formed  the  cele- 
brated "Scriblenis  Qub,"  an  association  lather  of  a  liteiary 
than  a  political  character.  Oxford  and  St. ,  John^  Swift, 
Arbuthnot,  Pope, .  and  Gay,  were  members.  ^  Satire  uponjthe 
abuse  of  human  learning  was  their  leading  object  T9ie 
name  originated  as  follows.  -  Oxford  used  playfully  to;  call 
Swift  Martin,  and  from/this  sprung  ,Martimis  Scriblerus.. 
Swift,  as  is  well  known,  is  the  name  of  one  species'  of 
swallow,  (the  largest  and  most,  powerful  flier  of  theTtribe,) 
and  .Martin  is  the  name  of  another  species,  .the  wall-swallow, 
which  constructs  its  Jiest  in  buildings. 

Part  of  ;the  labours  of  the  Society  has  been  preserved  in 
P.  P.,  Clerk:  of  the,  Parish,  the  most  memorable  satire  upon 
Burnet's  History  of  his  Omn.:>Time,  and  part  has  been 
rendered  immortal  by  the  Travels  of  Lemuel  Gulliver:,  but, 
says  Sir  Walter  Scott,  in  his  Life  ofSmift,  "the  violenceiof 
political  faction, -like  a  storm  that  spares  the  laurel  no  more 
than  the  cedar,  dispersed  this  little  band  of  literary  brethren, 
and  prevented  the  accomplishment  of  a  task  for  which 
talents  :so  various,  so  extended,  and  so  brilHant,  can  never 
again  be  united." 


THE  CALVES  HEAD  CLUB.  21 

Oxford  and  '  Bolingbfoke,  themselves  accomplished 
scholars,  patrions  and  friends  both  of  the  persons  and  to 
genius'  thus  assbciated,  led  the  wSy,  by  their  mutual  ani- 
mosity, to  the  dissolution  of  the  confraternity.  Their 
discord  had  now  risen  to  the  highest  pitcK  '^  Swift  tried  the 
force  of  ^  humorous  expostulation  in  his  fable  of  the  Fagot, 
where  the  ministers  are  called  upon  to  contribute  their 
▼arious  badges  of  office,  to  make  the  bundle  strong  and 
secure.  But  all  was  in  vain ;  and,  at  length,  tired  with  this 
scene  of  murmuring  and  discontent,-  quarrel,  ihisuriderstand- 
ing,  and  halted,  the 'Dean,  who  was  almost  the  only  common 
friend  who  laboured  to 'Compose  these  differences,  made  a 
final  effort' at  reconciliation  ;  but  his  scheme  came  to  nothing, 
and  Swift-'  retreated  from  the '  scene '  of  'discord, '  without 
taking  part  with  either  of  his  contending  friends,  and  went  to 
the  house  of  the  Reverend  Mr.  Gery,  at  Upper  Letcombe, 
Berkshire,  where  he  resided  for  some  weeks  in  the  strictest 
seclusioUf;  This  secession  of  Swift  from  the "  political  w'orld 
excited  the  ^greatest  surprise :  the  public  wondered, — the 
party  writers*  exulted  in  a- thousand  ineffectual  libels  agkinst 
the  retreating  chanipion  of  the  ■ 'high  church, — and  his 
friends  conjured  him  in  numerous  letters  to  return  and 
reassume  the  task 'of  a  peacernaker;  this,  he  positively 
declined. 

The  Calves'  Head  Club. 

The  Calves'  Head  Club,  in  '^ridiciile  of  the  memory  of 
Charles  I.,^' has  a  strange  history.  It  is  first  noticed  in  a 
tract  reprinted  in  the  Harleian  Miscellany.  It  is  entitled 
"  The  Secret  History  of  the  Calves'  Head  Cliib;  or  the  Re- 
publican unmasked.  Wherein  is  fully  shown  the  Religion  of 
the  Calved  Head  Heroes,  in  their  Anniversary  Thanksgiving 
Songs  on  the  2,0th  of  J^anuary,  by  them  called  Anthems,  for 
the  years  i6^^,' i6<)/^,  1695,  1696^  1697.  Now  published  to 
demonstrate  the  restless  implacable  Spirit  of  a  certain  party  still 


22  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

amongst  us,  who  are  never  to  be  satisfied  until  the  present 
Establishment  in  Church  and  State  is  subverted.   The  Second 
Edition.    London,  1 703."   The  Author  of  this  Secret  History, 
supposed  to  be  Ned  Ward,  attributed  the  origin  of  the  Club 
to  Milton,  and  some  other  friends  of  the  Commonwealth,  in 
opposition  to  Bishop  Nixon,  Dr.  Sanderson,  and  others,  who 
met  privately  every  30th  of  January,  and  compiled  a  private 
form  of  service  for  the  day,  not  very  different  from  that  long 
used.     "After  the  Restoration,"  says  the  writer,  "  the  eyes 
of  the  government  being  upon  the  whole  party,  they  were 
obliged  to  meet  with  a  great  deal  of  precaution  ;  but  in  the 
reign  of  King  William  they  met  almost  in  a  public  manner, 
apprehending  no  danger."    The  writer  further  tells  us,  he 
was  informed  that  it  was  kept  in  no  fixed  house,  but  that 
they  moved  as  they  thought  convenient.     The  place  where 
they  met  when  his  informant  was  with  them  was  in  a  blind 
alley  near  Moorfields,  where  an  axe  hung  up  in  the  club- 
room,  and  was  reverenced  as  a  principal  symbol  in  this 
diabolical  sacrament.     Their  bill  of  fare  was  a  large  dish  of 
calves'  heads,  dressed  several  ways,  by  which  they  repre- 
sented the  king  and  his  friends  who  had  suffered  in  his 
cause;  a  large  pike,  with  a  small  one  in  his  mouth,  as  an 
emblem  of  tyranny ;  a  large  cod's  head,  by  which  they 
intended  to  represent  the  person  of  the  king  singly;  a  boar's 
head  with  an  apple  in  its  mouth,  to  represent  the  king  by 
this  as  bestial,  as  by  their  other  hieroglyphics  they  had  done 
foolish  and  tyrannical.     After  the  repast  was  over,  one  of 
their  elders  presented  an  Icon  Basilike,  which  was  with  great 
solemnity  burnt  upon  the  table,  whilst  the  other  anthems 
were  singing.   After  this,  another  produced  Milton's  Defensio 
Fopuli  Anglicani,  upon  which  all  laid  their  hands,  and  made 
a  protestation  in  form  of  an  oath  for  ever  to  stand  by  and 
maintain  the  same.     The  company  only  consisted  of  Inde- 
pendents and  Anabaptists ;  and  the  famous  Jeremy  White, 
formerly  chaplain  to  Oliver  Cromwell,  who  no  doubt  came 
to  sanctify  with  his  pious  exhortations  the  ribaldry  of  the 


THE  CALVES'  HEAD  CLUB.  23 

day,  said  grace.  After  the  table-cloth  was  removed,  the 
anniversary  anthem,  as  they  impiously  called  it,  was  sung, 
and  a  calf  s  skull  filled  with  wine,  or  other  liquor ;  and  then 
a  brimmer  went  about  to  the  pious  memory  of  those  worthy 
patriots  who  had  killed  the  tyrant  and  relieved  their  country 
from  his  arbitrary  sway  :  and,  lastly,  a  collection  was  made 
for  the  mercenary  scribbler,  to  which  every  man  contributed 
according  to  his  zeal  for  the  cause  and  ability  of  his  purse. 

The  tract  passed,  with  many-  augmentations  as  valueless 
as  the  original  trash,  through  no  less  than  nine  editions,  the 
last  dated  1716.  Indeed,  it  would  appear  to  be  a  literary 
fraud,  to  keep  alive  the  calumny.  All  the  evidence  produced 
concerning  the  meetings  is  from  hearsay  :  the  writer  of  the 
Secret  History  had  never  himself  been  present  at  the  Club ; 
and  his  friend  from  whom  he  profe'sses  to  have  received  his 
information,  though  a  Whig,  had  no  personal  knowledge  of 
the  Club.  The  slanderous  rumour  about  Milton  having  to 
do  with  the  institution  of  the  Club  may  be  passed  over  as 
unworthy  of  notice,  this  untrustworthy  tract  being  the  only 
authority  for  it.  Lowndes  says,  "  this  miserable  tract  has 
been  attributed  to  the  author  oilludibrds;"  but  it  is  altogether 
unworthy  of  him. 

Observances,  insulting  to  the  memory  of  Charles  I.,  were 
not  altogether  unknown.  Heame  tells  us  that  on  the  30th 
of  January,  1706-7,  some  young  men  in  All  Souls  College, 
Oxford,  dined  together  at  twelve  o'clock,  and  amused  them- 
selves with  cutting  off  the  heads  of  a  number  of  woodcocks, 
"  in  contempt  of  the  memory  of  the  blessed  martyr."  They 
tried  to  get  calves-heads,  but  the  cook  refused  to  dress 
them. 

Some  thirty  years  after,  there  occurred  a  scene  which 
seemed  to  give  colour  to  the  truth  of  the  Secret  History. 
On  January  30,  1735,  "Seme  young  noblemen  and  gentle- 
men met  at  a  tavern  in  SuffglkTStreet,, called  themselves  the 
Calves'  Head  Club,  dressed- ftR\ft.ealfs  head  in  a  napkin, 
and  after  some  hurras  threw  ;it,  into  a  bonfire,  and  dipped 


24  ,  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

napkins,  in  .their  red  wine  and  waved  them  out  of  the 
window.  The  mob  had  strong  beer  given  them,  and  for  a 
time  hallooed  as  well  as  the  best,  but  .taking  disgust  at  some 
healths  proposed^  grew  so  outrageous  that  they  broke  all  the 
windows,  and  forced  themselves  into  the  house;  but  the 
guards  being  sent  for,  prevented  further  mischief.  The 
Weekly  Chronicle  oi'SehiMaxy  i,  1735,  states  that  the  damage 
was  estimated  at  'some  hundred  pounds,'  and -that  the 
guards  were  posted  all  night  in  the  street,  for  the  security  of 
the  neighbourhood." 

In  L'Abbd  Le  Blanc's  Letters  we  find  this  account  of  the 
affair,: — ;"Some  young  men  of  quality  chose  to  abandon 
themselves  to  the  debauchery  of  drinking,  healths  on  the 
30th  of  January,  a  day  appointed  by  the  Church  of  England 
for  ageneral  fast,  to  expiate  the  murder  of  Charles  I.,  whom 
they  honour  as  a  martyr.  As  soon  as  they  were  heated  with 
wine,  they  began  to:  sing.  This  gave  great  offence  to  the 
people,  who  stopped  -  before  the  tavern,  and  gave  them 
abusive  language.  One  of  these  rash  young  men  put  his 
head  out  of  the  window  and  drank  to  the  memory  of  the 
army  which  dethroned  this  King,  and  to  the  rebels  which 
cut  off  his  head  upon  a  scaffold.  The  stones^  immediately 
flew  from  all  parts,  thie  furious  populace  broke  the  windows 
'of  the  house,-  arid  would  haVe^et  fire  to  it;  and  these  silly 
young  men  had  a  great  deal  of  difficulty  to  save  themselves." 

Miss  Banks  tells  us  that  "  Lord-Middlesex,  Lord  Boyne, 
and  Mr.  SeawalHs  Shirley,  were  certainly  present ;  probably. 
Lord  John  Sackville,  Mr.  Ponsonby,  afterwards  Lord  Bes- 
borough,  was  not  there.  Lord  Boyne's  finger  was  broken 
by  a  stone  which  came  in  at  the  window.  Lord  Harcourt 
was  supposed  to  be  present.''  Horace  Walpole  adds  :  "  The 
mob  destroyed  part  of  the  house  ;  Sir  William  (called- Hell- 
fire)  Stanhope  was  one  of  the  members." 

This  riotous  occurrence  was  the  occasion  of  some  verses 
in  The  Gmb-sireef  Journal,  from  which  the  following  lines 
may  be  quoted  as  throwing  additional  light  on  the  scene:— 


THB  CALVES  HEAD  CLVB.  2% 

Strange  times.  !^  when  noble  peers,  secure  from  riot. 
Can't  keep  NolJ's  atmual  festival  in  quiet, 
Through  sasheis,  brojte,,  dirt,,  stones,  and  brands  thrown  at  'em, 
Which,  if  not  sc^d-  wais  brandralu^  magnatitm. 
Forced  to  run  dovifn  .to  vaults  for  s^er  quarters. 
And  in  coal-holj^s  their,  ribbons  hide  and  garters. 
They  thought  their  feast  in  dismal  fray,  thus, ending. 
Themselves  to  shades  of  death  and  hell  descending  ; 
This  might  have  been,  had  stout  Clare  Market  mobsters. 
With  cleavers  arm'd,  outmarch'd  St.  James's  lobsters ; 
.Numskulls  they'd  split,  to  furnisl^  other  revels, 
And  make  a  Calves' -head  Feast  ^r  worms  and  devils. 

The  manner  in  which  Noll!s.  (Oliver  Gromwell's)  "annual 
festival"  is  here  alluded  to,  seems  to  show  that  the  bonfire 
with  the  calf  s-head  and  other  accompaniments,  had  been 
exhibited  .in  previous  years.  In  confirmation  of  this  fact, 
there  exis^^  a  priat;  entitled.  J%e  True  E-ffigies.  of  the  Members 
of  the  Calve£-Head  Club,  held  on  the  ■^oth  of  January,  1734, 
in  Suffolk  Street,  in  the  County  of  Middlesex ;  being  the  year 
before  the  riotous '  occurrence  above  related.  This  print 
show,s.  a.ibOjnfire.in  the, centre;  of  the  foreground,  with  the 
mobij  iin  the  :background,  a  house  with  three  windows,  the 
central,  wJpdQw,  exhibiting  two  men,  one,  of  whom  is  about 
to.  throw  the  caiPs-head  into-  the  bonfire  below.  The  window 
on  'the  right  shows  three  persons  drinking  healths ;  that  on 
the  left,  two  other  persons,  one  of  whom  wears,  a  mask, 
and,  has  an  axe  in  his  .hand. 

There  are  two  other  prints^  one  engraved  by  the  father  of 
Vandergucht,  from  a  drawing  by  Hogarth. 

After  the  tablecloth  was  removed  (says  the  author),  an 
anniversary  anthem  was  sung,  and  a  calf  s  skull  filled  with 
wine  or  other  liquor,  and  out  of  which  the  company  drank 
to  the  pious  memory  of  those  worthy  patriots  who  had, killed 
the  tyrant;  and; lastly,  a  collection  was  made  for  the. writer 
pf  the,  anthem,  to  which,  every  man  contributed  according 
to  his  zeal  or  his  means.  The  concluding  lines  of  the 
.anthem  for  the  year  1697  are  a:s  follow ;-— 


26  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

Advance  the  emblem  of  the  action, 

Fill  the  calPs  skull  full  of  wine  ; 
Drinking  ne'er  was  counted  faction, 

Men  and  gods  adore  the  vine. 
To  the  heroes  gone  before  us, 

Let's  renew  the  flowing  bowl ; 
While  the  lustre  of  their  glories 

Shines  like  stars  from  pole  to  pole. 

The  laureate  of  the  Club  and  of  this  doggrel  was  Benjamin 
Bridgwater,  who,  alluding  to  the  observance  of  the  30th  of 
January  by  zealous  Royalists,  wrote  : — 

They  and  we,  this  day  observing. 

Differ  only  in  one  thing  ; 
They  are  canting,  whining,  starving  ; 

We,  rejoicing,  drink,  and  sing. 

Among  Swift's  poems  will  be  remembered  "  Roland's 
Invitation  to  Dismal  to  dine  with  the  Calf  s-Head  Club" : — 

While  an  alluding  hymn  some  artist  sings. 
We  toast  "  Confusion  to  the  race  of  kings." 

Wilson,  in  his  Life  of  De  Foe,  doubts  the  truthfulness  of 
Ward's  narrative,  but  adds :  "  In  the  frighted  mmd  of  a 
high-flying  churchman,  which  was  continually  haunted  by 
such  scenes,  the  caricature  would  easily  pass  for  a  likeness." 
"  It  is  probable,"  adds  the  honest  biographer  of  De  Foe, 
"  that  the  persons  thus  collected  together  to  commemorate 
the  triumph  of  their  principles,  although  in  a  manner  dictated 
by  bad  taste,  and  outrageous  to  humanity,  would  have  con- 
fined themselves  to  the  ordinary  methods  of  eatilig  and 
drinking,  if  it  had  not  been  for  the  ridiculous  farce  so 
generally  acted  by  the  Royalists  upon  the  same  day.  The 
trash  that  issued  from  the  pulpit  in  this  reign,  upon  the  30th 
of  January,  was  such  as  to  excite  the  worst  passions  in  the 
hearers.  Nothing  can  exceed  the  grossness  of  language 
employed  upon  these  occasions.  Forgetful-  even  of  common 
decorum,  the  speakers  ransacked  the  vocabulary  of  the 
vulgar  for  terms  of  vituperation,  and  hurled  their  anathemas 


THE  CALVES  HEAD  CLUB.  37 

with  wrath  and  fury  against  the  objects  of  their  hatred.  The 
terms  rebel  and  fanatic  were  so  often  upon  their  lips,  that 
they  became  the  reproach  of  honest  men,  who  preferred  the 
scandal  to  the  slavery  they  attempted  to  estabUsh.  Those 
who  could  profane  the  pulpit  with  so  much  rancour  in  the 
support  of  senseless  theories,  and  deal  it  out  to  the  people 
for  religion,  had  little  reason  to  complain  of  a  few  absurd 
men  who  mixed  politics  and  calves'  heads  at  a  tavern  ;  and 
still  less,  to  brand  a  whole  religious  community  with  their 
actions." 

The  strange  story  was  believed  till  our  own  time,  when  it 
was  fully  disproved  by  two  letters  written  a  few  days  after 
the  riotous  occurrence,  by  Mr.  A.  Smyth,  to  Mr.  Spence, 
and  printed  in  the  Appendix  to  his  Anecdotes,  2nd  edit. 
1858  :  in  one  it  is  stated,  "  The  affair  has  been  grossly  mis- 
represented all  over  the  town,  and  in  most  of  the  public 
papers  :  there  was  no  calf's-head  exposed  at  the  window, 
and  afterwards  thrown  into  the  fire,  no  napkins  dipt  in  claret 
to  represent  blood,  nor  nothing  that  could  give  any  colour 
to  any  such  reports.  The  meeting  (at  least  with  regard  to 
our  friends)  was  entirely  accidental,"  etc.  The  second 
letter  alike  contradicts  the  whole  story ;  and  both  attribute 
much  of  the  disturbance  to  the  unpopularity  of  the  Adminis- 
tration; their  health  being  unluckily  proposed,  raised  a 
few  faint  claps  but  a  general  hiss,  and  then  the  disturbance 
began.  A  letter  from  Lord  Middlesex  to  Spence,  gives  a 
still  fuller  account  of  the  affair.  By  the  style  of  the  letter 
one  may  judge  what  sort  of  heads  the  members  had,  and 
what  was  reckoned  the  polite  way  of  speaking  to  a  waiter  in 

those  days ; — 

"  Whitehall,  Feb.  y«  9th,  1735. 

"  Dear  Spanco, — I  don't  in  the  least  doubt  but  long  before 
this  time  the  noise  of  the  riot  on  the  30th  of  January  has 
reached  you  at  Oxford  ;  and  though  there  has  been  as  many 
lies  and  false  reports  raised  upon  the  occasion  in  this  good 
city  as  any  reasonable  man  could  expect,  yet  I  fancy  eveh 


28  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

those  may  be  improved  or  increased  before  they  come  to 
you.  Now,  that  you  may  be  able  to  defend  your  friends  (as 
I  don't  in  the  least  doubt  you  have  an  inclination  to  do), 
111  send  you  the  matter  of  fact  literally  and  truly  as  it 
happened,  upon  my  honour.  Eight  of  us  happened  to  meet 
together  the  30th  of  January,  it  might  have  been  the  loth 
of  June,  or  any  other  day  in  the  year,  but  the  mixture  of 
the  company  has  convinced  most  reasonable  people  by  this 
time  that  it  was  not  a  designed  or  premeditated  affair.  We 
met,  then,  as  I  told  you  before,  by  chance  upon  this  day, 
and  after  dinner,  having  drunk  very  plentifully,  especially 
some  of  the  company,  some  of  us  going  to  the  window  un- 
luckily saw  a  little  nasty  fire  made  by  some  boys  in  the  street, 
of  straw  I  think  it  was,  and  immediately  cried  out,  '  D — n  it, 
why  should  not  we  have  a  fire  &s  well  as  anybody  else  ?'  Up 
comes  the  drawer,  '  D — ^n  you,  you  rascal,  get  us  a  bonfire.' 
Upon  which  the  imprudent  puppy  runs  down,;  and  without 
making  any  difficulty  (which  he- might  have' done  by  a 
thousand  excuses,  and  which  if  he  had,' in  all  probability, 
some  pf  us  would  have  come  more  to  our  senses),  sends  for 
the  faggots,  and  in  an  instant  behold  a  large  fire  blazing 
before  the  door.  Upon  which  some  of  us>  wiser,  or  rather 
soberer  than  the  rest,  bethinking  themselves  then,  for  the 
first  time,  what  day  it  was,  and  fearing  the  consequences  a 
bonfire  on  that  day  might  have,  proposed  drinking  loyal  and 
popular  healths  to  the  mob  (out  of  the  window),  which  by 
this  time  was  very  great,  in  order  to  convince  them  we  did 
not  intend  it  as  a  ridicule  upon  that  day.  The  healths  that 
were  drank  out  of  the  window  were  these,  and  these  only: 
the  King,  Queen,  and  Royal  Family,  the  Protestant  Succes- 
sion, Liberty  and  Property,  the  present  Administration. 
Upon  which  the  first  stone  was  flung,  and  then  began  our 
siege  :  which,  for  the  time  it  lasted j  was  at  least  as  furious 
as  that  of  Philipsbourg ;  it  was  more  than  an  hour  before  we 
got  any  assistance;  the  more  sober  part  of  us,  doing  this, 
had  a  fine  time  of  it,  fighting  to  prevent  fighting ;  in  danger 


THE  CALVES  HEAD  CLUB.  29 

of  being  knocked  on  the  head  by  the  stones  that  came  in  at 
the  windows ;  in  danger  of  being  run  through  by  our  mad 
friends,  who,  sword  in  hand,  swore  they  would  go  out, 
though  they  first  made  their  way  through  us.  At  length  the 
justice,  attended  by  a  strong  body  of  guards,  came  and 
dispersed  the  populace.  The  person  who  first  stirred  up  the 
mob  is  known ;  he  first  gave  them  money,  and  then  harangued 
them  in  a  most  violent  manner ;  I  don't  know  if  he  did  not 
fling  the  first  stone  himself.  He  is  an  Irishman  and  a  priest, 
and  belonging  to  Imberti,  the  Venetian  Envoy.  This  is 
the  whole  story  from  which  so  many  calves'  heads,  bloody 
napkins,  and  the  Lord  knows  what,  has  been  made  ;  it  has 
bieen  the  talk  of  the  town  and  the  country,  and  small  beer 
and  bread  and  cheese  to  my  friends  the  gatretteers  in  Grub- 
street,  for  these  few  days  past.  I,  as  well  as  your  fiiends, 
hojje  to  see  yoii  soon  in  town.  After  so  much  prose,  I  can't 
help  ending  witli  a  few  verses  : — 

O  had  I  lived;  in  merry  Charles's  days. 

When  dull  the  wise  were  called,  and  wit  had  praiSe  ; 

When  deepest  politics  could  never  pass 

For  aught;  but  surer  tokens  of  an  ass  ; 
'    When  >nbt  the  frolicks  of  one  drunken  night 

Couldjtouch  your  honour,  make  your ,£ime- less  bright ;  .  , 
.   Tho'  mob'form'd  scandal  rag'd,  and  Papal  spi^ht.  n, 

"  Middlesex." 

To  sum  up,  the  whole  affair  was  a  hoax,  kept  klive  by  the 
pretended  "Secret  Histoiy."  An  accidental  riot,  fellowing 
a  debauch  on  one  30th  of  Ja;iuary,  has  been  distributed  be- 
tween two  successive  years,  owjrig-tQ  a  misappteheftSipn  of 
the  niodb  of  reckoniijg ):itiie' pre^al^nt  in  theearlyjiart  dfthe 
lasi  cejituiT^';  ■and,'ftere'is''%ci'  ihbre-  reason' for, belie\ang  in 
the  eHstepcf'ofTCalVe^^'ftfea^Cliib  in  ^734-5'  than  there 
isforbe\i'e\dn|it'Vxisflat'.the'pr^s,eiit,tim'e.     ^ 


3P  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

The  King's  Head  Club. 

•  Another  Club  of  this  period  was  the  "  Club  of  Kings,"  or 
"  the  King  Club,"  all  the  members  of  which  were  called 
"  King."     Charles  himself  was  an  honorary  member. 

A  more  important  Club  was  "  the  King's  Head  Club," 
instituted  for  affording  the  Court  and  Government  support, 
and  to  influence  Protestant  zeal :  it  was  designed  by  the 
unscrupulous  Shaftesbury :  the  members  were  a  sort  of  De- 
cembrists of  their  day;  but  they  failed  in  their  aim,  and 
ultimately  expired  under  the  ridicule  of  being  designated 
"  hogs  in  armour."  "  The  gentlemen  of  that  worthy  Society," 
says  Roger  North,  in  his  Examen,  "held  their  evening 
sessions  continually  at  the  King's  Head  Tavern,  over 
against  the  Inner  Temple  Gate.  But  upon  the  occasion  of 
the  signal  of  a  green  ribbon,  agreed  to  be  worn  in  their  hats 
in  the  days  of  street  engagements,  like  the  coats-of-arms  of 
valiant  knights  of  old,  whereby  all  warriors  of  the  Society 
might  be  distinguished,  and  not  mistake  friends  for  enemies, 
they  were  called  also  the  Great  Ribbon  Club.  Their  seat 
was  in  a  sort  of  Carfour  at  Chancery-lane  end,  a  centre  of 
business  and  company  most  proper  for  such  anglers  of 
fools.  The  house  was  double  balconied  in  the  front,  as 
may  be  yet  seen,  for  the  clubsters  to  issue  forth  in  fresco 
with  hats  and  no  peruques ;  pipes  in  their  mouths,  merry 
faces,  and  diluted  throats,  for  vocal  encouragement  of  the 
canaglia  below,  at  bonfires,  on  usual  and  unusual  occasions. 
They  admitted  all  strangers  that  were  confidingly  intro- 
duced ;  for  it  was  a  main  end  of  their  Institution  to  make 
proselytes,  especially  of  the  raw  estated  youth,  newly  come 
to  town.  This  copious  Society  were  to  the  faction  in  and 
about  London  a  sort  of  executive  power,  and,  by  corre- 
spondence, all  over  England.  The  resolves  of  the  more 
retired  councils  of  the  ministry  of  the  Factioii  were  brought 
in  here,  and  orally  insinuated  to  the  company,  Vhether  it 


THE  KING'S  HEAD  CLUB.  31 

were  lyes,  defamations,  commendations,  projects,  etc.,  and 
so,  like  water  diffused,  spread  all  over  the  town ;  whereby 
that  which  was  digested  at  the  Club  over  night,  was,  like 
nourishment,  at  every  assembly,  male  and  female,  the  next 
day : — and  thus  the  younglings  tasted  of  political  adminis- 
tration, and  took  themselves  for  notable  counsellors." 

North  regarded  the  Green  Ribbon  Club  as  the  focus  of 
disaffection  and  sedition,  but  his  mere  opinions  are  not 
to  be  depended  on.  Walpole  calls  him  "  the  voluminous 
squabbler  in  behalf  of  the  most  unjustifiable  excesses  of 
Charles  the  Second's  Administration."  Nevertheless,  his 
relation  of  facts  is  very  curious,  and  there  is  no  reason 
to  discredit  his  account  of  those  popular  "  routs,''  to  use  his 
own  phrase,  to  which  he  was  an  eye-witness. 

The  conversation  and  ordinary  discourse  of  the  Club,  he 
informs  us,  "was  chiefly  upon  the  subject  of  Braveur, 
in  defending  the  cause  of  Liberty  and  Property;  what 
every  true  Protestant  and  Englishman  ought  to  venture  to 
do,  rather  than  be  overpowered  with  Popery  and  Slavery." 
They  were  provided  with  silk  armour  for  defence,  "  against 
the  time  that  Protestants  were  to  be  massacred,"  and,  in 
order  "to  be  assailants  upon  fair  occasion,"  they  had 
recommended  to  them,  "  a  certain  pocket  weapon  which, 
for  its  design  and  efficacy,  had  the  honour  to  be  called 
a  Protestant  Flail.  The  handles  resembled  a  farrier's  blood- 
stick,  and  the  fall  was  joined  to  the  end  by  a  strong  nervous 
ligature,  that,  in  its  swing,  fell  just  short  of  the  hand,  and 
was  made  of  Lignum  Vita,  or  rather,  as  the  poets  termed  it, 
Mortis.''  This  engine  was  "  for  street  and  crowd-work,  and 
lurking  perdue  in  a  coat-pocket,  might  readily  saUy  out  to 
execution ;  and  so,  by  clearing  a  great  Hall  or  Piazza,  or  so, 
carry  an  Election  by  choice  of  Polling,  called  knocking 
down!"  The  armour  of  the  hogs  is  further  described  as 
"  silken  back,  breast,  and  potts,  that  were  pretended  to  be 
pistol-proof,  in  which  any  man  dressed  up  was  as  safe  as  in 
a  house,  for  it  was  impossible  any  one  would  go  to  strike 


32  CLUB  LIFE  OM  LONDON. 

him  for  laughing,  so  ridiculous  was  the  figure,  as  they  say, 
oi  hogs  in  armour." 

In  describing  the  Pope-burning  procession  of  the  1 7th  of 
November,  1680,  Roger  North  says,  that  "the  Rabble  first 
changed  their  title,  and  were  called  the  Mob  in  the 
assemblies  of  this  Club.  It  was  their  Beast  of  Burthen, 
and  called  first,  mobile  vtdgiis,  but  fell  naturally  into  the 
contraction  of  one  syllable,  and  ever  since  is  become  proper 
English." 

We  shall  not  describe  these  Processions  :  the  grand  object 
was  the  burning  of  figures,  prepared  for  the  occasion,  and 
brought  by  the  Mob  in  procession,  from  the  further  end  of 
London  with  "  staffiers  and  link-boys  sounding,''  and  "  coming 
up  near  to  the  Club-Quality  in  the  balconies,  against  which 
was  provided  a  huge  boniire  ;"  "  and  then,  after  numerous 
platoons  and  volleys  of  squibs  discharged,  these  Bamboches 
were,  with  redoubled  noise,  committed  to  the  flames." 
These  outrageous  celebrations  were  suppressed  in  1683. 

Street  Clubs. 

During  the  first  quarter  of  the  last  century,  there  were 
formed  in  the  metropolis  "  Street  Clubs,"  of  the  inhabitants 
of  the  same  street ;  so  that  a  man  had  but  to  stir  a  few 
houses  from  his  own  door  to  enjoy  his  Club  and  the  society 
of  his  neighbours.  There  was  another  inducement:  the 
streets  were  then  so  unsafe  that  "  the  nearer  home  a  man's 
club  lay  the  bettei;  for  his  clothes  and  his  purse.  Even 
riders  in  coaches  were  not  safe  from  mounted  footpads,  and 
from  the  danger  of  upsets  in  the  huge  ruts  and  pits  which 
intersected  the  streets.  The  passenger  who  could  not  afford  a 
coach  had  to  pick  his  way,  after  dark,  along  the  dimly-lighted, 
ill-paved  thoroughfares,  seamed  by  filthy  open  kennels, 
besprinkled  from  projecting  spouts,  bordered  by  gaping 
cellars,  guarded  by  feeble  old  watchmen,  and  beset  with 
daring  street-robbers.     But  there  were  worse  terrors  of  the 


THE  MOHOCKS.  33 

night  than  the  chances  of  a  splashing  or  a  sprain, — risks 
beyond  those  of  an  interrogatory  by  the  watch,  or  of  a 
'stand  and  deliver'  from  a  footpad."  These  were  the. 
lawless  rake-hells  who,  banded  into  clubs,  spread  terror  and 
dismay  through  the  streets.  Sir  John  Fielding,  in  his 
cautionary  book,  published  in  1776,  described  the  dangerous 
attacks  of  intemperate  rakes  in  hot  blood,  who,  occasionally 
and  by  way  of  bravado,  scour  the  streets,  to  show  their 
manhood,  not  their  humanity ;  put  the  watch  to  flight ;  and 
now  and  then  murdered  some  harailess,  inoffensive  person. 
Thus,  although  there  are  in  London  no  ruffians  and  bravos, 
as  in  some  parts  of  Spain  and  Italy,  who  will  kill  for  hire, 
yet  there  is  no  resisting  anywhere  the  wild  sallies  of  youth, 
and  the  extravagances  that  flow  from  debauchery  and  wine. 
One  of  our  poets  has  given  a  necessary  caution,  especially 
to  strangers,  in  the  following  lines  : — 

Prepare  for  death,  if  here  at  night  you  roain, 
And  sign  your  -ivill  before  you  sup  from  home ; 
Some  fiery  fop  with  new  commission  vain, 
Who  sleeps  on  brambles  'till  he  kills  his  man  ; 
Some  frolic  druiikard,  reeling  from  a  feast, 
Provokes  a  broil,  and  stabs  you  iii  a  jest. 
Yet,  ev'n  these  heroes,  mischievously. gay, 
Lords  of  the  street,  and  terrors  of  the  way ; 
Flush'd  as  they  are  with  folly,  youth,,  and  wine, 
Their  prudent  insults  to  the  poor  confine  ; 
Afar  they  mark  the  flambeau's  bright  approach, 
And  shun  the  shining  train  and  gilded  coach. 

The  Mohocks. 

This  nocturnal  fraternity  met  in  the  days  of  Queen  Anne  : 
but  it  had  been  for  many  previous  years  the  favourite  a;muse- 
ment  of  dissolute  young  men  to  form  themselves  into  Clubs 
and  Associations  for  committing  all  sorts  of  excesses  in  the 
public  streets,  and  alike  attacking  orderly  pedestrians^  and 
even  defenceless  women.     These  Cltibs  took  various  slang' 

D 


34  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

designations.  At  the  Restoration  they  were  "  Mums  "  and 
"  Tityre-tus."  They  were  succeeded  by  the  "  Hectors  "  and 
"  Scourers,"  when,  says  Shadwell,  "  a  man  could  not  go  from 
the  Rose  Tavern  to  the  Piazza  once,  but  he  must  venture 
his  life  twice."  Then  came  the  "  Nickers,"  whose  delight  it 
was  to  smash  windows  with  showers  of  halfpence  ;  next  were 
the  "  Hawkabites ;"  and  lastly,  the  "  Mohocks."  These 
last  are  described  in  the  Spectator,  No.  324,  as  a  set  of  men 
who  have  borrowed  their  name  from  a  sort  of  cannibals,  in 
India,  who  subsist  by  plundering  and  devouring  all  the 
nations  about  them.  The  president  is  styled  "  Emperor  of 
the  Mohocks  j"  and  his  arms  are  a  Turkish  crescent,  which 
his  iinperial  majesty  bears  at  present  in  a  very  extraordinary 
manner  engraven  upon  his  forehead ;  in  imitation  of  which 
the  Memfcers  prided  themselves  in  tattooing ;  or  slashing 
people's  faces  with,  as  Gay  wrote,  "  new  invented  wounds." 
Their  avowed  design  was  mischief,  and  upon  this  foundation 
all  their  rales  and  orders  were  framed.  They  took  care  to 
drink  themselves  to  a  pitch  beyond  reason  or  humanity,  and 
then  made  a  general  sally,  arid  attacked  all  who  were  in  the 
streets.  Some  were  knocked  down,  others  stabbed,  and  others 
cut  and  carbonadoed.  To  put  the  watch  to  a  total  rout,  and 
mortify  some  of  those  inoffensive  militia,  was  reckoned  a 
coup  d'klat.  They  had  special  barbarities,  which  they 
executed  upon  their  prisoners.  "  Tipping  the  •  lion  "  was 
squeezing  the  nose  flat  to  the  face  and  boring  out  the  eyes 
with  their  fingers.  "  Dancing-masters "  were  those  who 
taught  their  scholars  to  cut  capers  by  running  swords 
through  their  legs.  The  "  Tumblers  "  set  women  on  their 
heads.  The  "  Sweaters  "  worked  in  parties  of  half-a-dozen, 
surrounding  their  victims  with  the  points  of  their  swords. 
The  Sweater  upon  whom  the  patient  turned  his  back,  pricked 
him  in  "  that  part  whereon  schoolboys  are  punished ;''  and 
as  he  veered  round  from  the  smart,  each  Sweater  repeated 
this  pinking  operation ;  "  after  this  jig  had  gone  two  or  three 
times  round,  and  the  patient  was  thought  to  have  sweat 


THE  MOHOCKS.  35 

sufficiently,  he  was  very  handsomely  rubbed  down  by  some 
attendants  who  carried  with  thtem  instruments  for  that  pur- 
pose, when  they  discharged  him.  An  adventure  of  this  kind 
is  narrated  in  No.  332  of  the  Spectator:  it  is  there  termed  a 
bagnio,  for  the  orthography  of  which  the  writer  consults  the 
sign-posts  of  the  bagnio  in  Newgate-street  and  that  in 
Chancery-lane. 

Another  savage  diversion  of  the  Mohocks  was  their  thrust- 
ing women  into  barrels,  and  rolling  them  down  Snow  or 
Liidgate  Hill,  as  thus  sung  by  Cay,  in  his  Trivia : — 

Now  is  the  time  that  rakes  their  revels  keep  ; 

Kindlers  of  riot,  enemies  of  sleep. 

His  scattered  pence  the  flying  Nicker  flings, 

And  with  the  copper  shower  the  casement  rings. 

Who  has  not  heard  the  Scourer's  midnight  fame?  ^ 

Who  has  not  trembled  at  the  Mohock's  name  ? 

Was  there  a  watchman  took  his  hourly  rounds 

Safe  from  their  blows  or  new-invented  wounds  ? 

I  pass  their  desperate  deeds  and  mischiefs,  done 

Where  from  Snow-hill  black  steepy  torrents  run  ; 

How  matrons,  hooped  within  the  hogshead's  womb. 

Were  tumbled  furious  thence  ;  the  rolling  tomb 

O'er  the  stones  thunders,  bounds  from  side  to  side  ; 

So  Regulus,  to  save  his  country,  died. 

Swift  was  inclined  to  doubt  these  savageries,  yet  went  ion 
some  apprehension  of  them.  He  writes,  jnst  at  the  date  of 
the  above  Spectator :  "  Here  is  the  devil  and  all  to  do  with 
these  ^  Mohocks.  Grub-street  papers  about  them  fly  like 
lightning,  and  a  list  printed  of  near  eighty  put  into  several 
prisons,  and  all  a  lie,  and  I  begin  to  think  there  is  no  truth, 
or  very  little  in  the  whole  story.  He  that  abused  Davenant 
was  a  drunken  gentleman  ;  none  of  that  gang.  My  man  tells 
me  that  one  of  the  lodgers  heard  in  a  coffee-house,  publicly, 
that  one  design  of  the  Mohocks  was  upon  me,  if  they  could 
catch  me ;  and  though  I  believe  nothing  of  it,  I  forbear 
walking  late ;  and  they  have  put  me  to  the  charge  of  some 
shillings  already." — yourtial  to  Stella,  1712. 

D  2 


36  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

Swift  mentions,  among  the  outrages  of  the  Mohocks,  that 
two  of  them  caught  a  maid  of  old  Lady  Winchilsea's  at  the 
door  of  her  house  in  the  Park  with  a  candle,  and  had  just 
lighted  out  somebody.  They  cut  all  her  face,  and  beat  her 
without  any  provocation. 

At  length  the  villanies  of  the  Mohocks  were  attempted  to 
be  put  down  by  a  Royal  proclamation,  issued  on  the  i8th 
of  March,  1712  :  this,  however,  Ijad  very  little  effect,  for  we 
soon  find  Swift  exclaiming:  "They  go  on  still  and  cut 
people's  faces  every  night !  but  they  shan't  cut  mine ;  I  like 
it  better  as  it  is." 

Within  a  week  after  the  Proclamation,  it  was  proposed 
that  Sir  Roger  de  Coverley  should  go  to  the  play,  where  he 
had  not  been  for  twenty  years.  The  Spectator,  No.  335, 
says  :  "  My  friend  asked  me  if  there  would  not  be  some 
danger  in  coming  home  late  in  case  the  Mohocks  should  be 
abroad.  '  I  assure  you,'  says  he,  '  I  thought  I  had  fallen 
into  their  hands  last  night;  for  I  observed  two  or  three 
lusty  black  men  that  followed  me  half-way  up  Fleet-street, 
and  mended  their  pace  behind  me  in  proportion  as  I  put  on 
to  get  away  from  them.' "  However,  Sir  Roger  threw  them 
out,  at  the  end  of  Norfolk  Street,  where  he  doubled  the 
corner,  and  got  shelter  in  his  lodgings  before  they  could 
imagine  what  was  become  of  him.  It  was  finally  arranged 
that  Captain  Sentry  should' make  one  of  the  party  for  the 
play,  and  that  Sir  Roger's  coach  should  be  got  ready,  the 
fore  wheels  being  newly  mended.  "  The  Captain,"  says  the 
Spectator,  "  who  did  not  fail  to  meet  rne  at,  the  apppinted 
hour,  bid  Sir  Roger  fear  nothing,  for  that  he  had  put  on  the 
same  sword  which  he  made  use  of  at  the  battle  of  Steenkirk. 
Sir  Roger's  servants,  and  among  the  rest,- my  old  friend  the 
butler,  had,  I  found,  provided  themsdves  with  good  oaken 
plants,  to  attend  their  master  upon  this  occasion.  When  he 
placed  him  in  his  coach,  with  myself  at  his  left  hand,  the 
Captain  before  him,  and  his  butler  at  the  head  of  ■  his 
footmen  in  the  rear,  we  convoyed  him  in  safety  to  the  play- 


THE  MOHOCKS. 


37 


house."  The  play  was  Ambrose  Phillips's  new  tragedy  of 
The  Distressed  Mother:  at  its  close,  Sir  Rogelr  went  out  fully 
satisfied  with  his  entertainment;  and,  says  the  Spectator, 
"we  guarded  him  to  his  lodging  in  the  same  manner  that 
we  guarded  him  to  the  playhouse;" 

The  subject  is  resumed  with  much  humour,  by  Budgell, 
in  the  Spectator,  No.  347,  where  the  doubts  as  to  the  actual 
existence  of  Mohocks  are  examined.  "  They  will  have  it," 
says  the  Spectator,  "that  the  Mohocks  are  like  those  spectres 
and  apparitions  which  frighten  several  towns  and  villages  in 
Her  Majesty's  dominions,  though  they  were  never  seen  by 
any  of  the  inhabitants.  Others  are  apt  to  think  that  these 
Mohocks  are  a  kind  of  bull-beggars,  first  invented  by 
prudent  married  men  and  masters  of  families,  in  order  to 
deter  their  wives  and  daughters  from  taking  the  air  at  un- 
seasonable hours ;  and  that  when  they  tell  them  '  the  Mo- 
hocks will  catch  them,'  it  is  a  caution  of  the  same  nature 
with  that  of  our  forefathers,  when  they  bid  their  children 
have  a  care  of  Raw-head  and  Bloody-bones."  Then  we 
have,  from  a  Correspondent  (A  tiie  Spectator,  "  the  manifesto 
of  Taw  Waw  Eben  Zan  Kaladar,  Emperor  of  the  Mohocks," 
'  vindicating  his  imperial  dignity  from  the  false  aspersions 
cast  on  it,  signifying  the  imperial  abhorrence  and  detestation 
of  such  tumultuous  and  irregular  proceedings ;  and  notifying 
that  all  wounds,  hurts,  damage,  or  detriment,  received  in 
limb  or  limbs,  otherwise  than  shall  he  hereafter  specified,  shall 
be  committed  to  the  care  of  the  Emperor's  surgeon,  and 
cured  at  his  own  expense,  in  some  one  or  other  of  those 
hospitals  which  he  is  erecting  for  that  purpose. 

Among  other  things  it  is  decreed  "that  they  never  tip  the 
lion  upon  man,  woman,  or  child,  till  the  clock  at  St. 
Dunstan's  shall  have  struck  one  ;"  "  that  the  sweat  be  never 
given  till  between  the  hours  of  one  and  two ;"  "  that  the 
sweaters  do  establish  their  hummums  in  such  close  places, 
alleys,  nooks  and  corners,  that  the  patient  01  patients  may 
not  be  in  danger  of  catching  cold ;"  "  that  the  tumblers,  to 


38  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

whose  care  we  chiefly  commit  the  female  sex,  confine  them- 
selves to  Drury  Lane  and  the  purlieus  of  the  Temple,"  etc. 
"Given  from  our  Court  at  the  Devil  Tavern,"  etc. 
.:   The  Mohocks  held  together  until  nearly  the  end  of  the 
reign  of  George  the  First. 

Blasphemous  Clubs. 

The  successors  of  the  Mohocks  added  blasphemy  to  riot. 
Smollett  attributes  the  profaneness  and  profligacy  of  the 
period  to  the  demoralization  produced  by  the  South  Sea 
Bubble  ;  and  Clubs  were  formed  specially  for  the  indulgence 
of  debauchery  and  profaneness.  Prominent  among  these 
was  "  the  Hell-fire  Club,"  of  which  the  Duke  of  Wharton 
was  a  leading  spirit : — 

Wharton,  the  scorn  and  wonder  of  our  days, 
Whose  ruling  passion  was  the  lust  of  praise. 
Born  with  whate'er  could  win  it  from  the  wise, 
Women  and  fools  must  like  him,  or  he  dies. 
Though  wondering  senates  hung  on  all  he  spoke. 
The  club  must  hail  him  master  of  the  joke. — Pope. 

So  high  did  the  tide  of  profaneness  run  at  this  time,  that  a 
Bill  was  brought  into  the  House  of  Lords  for  its  suppression. 
It  was  in  a  debate  on  this  Bill  that  the  Earl  of  Peterborough 
declared,  that  though  he  was  for  a  Parliamentary  King,  he 
was  against  a  Parliamentary  religion ;  and  that  the  Duke  of 
Wharton  pulled  an  old  family  Bible  out  of  his  pocket,  in 
order  to  controvert  certain  arguments  delivered  from  the 
episcopal  bench. 

Mug-house  Clubs. 

Among  the  political  Clubs  of  the  metropolis  in  the  early 
part  of  the  eighteenth  century,  one  of  the  most  popular  was 
the  Mug-house  Club,  which  met  in  a  great  Hall  in  Long 
Acre  every  Wednesday  and  Saturday,  during  the  winter. 
The  house  received  its  name  from  the  simple  circumstance 


MUG-HOUSE  CLUBS.  .39 

that  each  member  drank  his  ale  (the  only  liquor .  used) ,  out 
of  a  separate  mug.  The  Club  is  described  as  a  mixture  of 
gentlemen,  lawyers,  and  statesmen,  who  met  seldom  .under 
a. hundred.  In  A  journey  through  England,  1732,  we  read 
of  this  Club : 

"  But  the  most  diverting  and  amusing  of  all  is  the  Mug- 
house  Club  in  Long  Acre. 

"They  have  a  grave  old  Gentleman,  in  his  own  gray 
Hairs,  now  within  a  few  months  of  Ninety  years  old,  .who  is 
their  President,  and  sits  in  an  arm'd  chair  some  steps  higher 
than  the  rest  of  the  company  to  keep  the  whole  Room  in 
order.  A  Harp  plays  all  the  time  at  the  lower  end  of  the 
Room ;  and  every  now  and  then  one  or  other  of  the  Com- 
pany rises  and  entertains  the  rest  with  a  song,  and  (by  the 
by)  some  are  good  Masters.  Here  is  nothing  drunk  but 
Ale,  and  evary  Gentleman  hath  his  separate  Mug,  which  he 
chalks  on  the  Table  where  he  sits  as  it  is  brought  in;  and 
every  one  retires  when  he  pleases,  asJrom.a  Coffeerhouse. 

"  The  Room  is  always  so  diverted  with  Songs,  and  drinking 
from  one  Table  to  another  to  one .  another's  Healths,  that 
there  is  no  room  for  Politicks,  or  anything  that  can  sow'r 

conversation.    .   _  

. "  Dpe  must  be  there  by  seven  to  get  Room,  and  after  ten 
the  Company  are  for  the  most  part  gone. 
. ,!  '^  This  is  a  Winter's  Amusement,  that  is  agreeable  enough 
,to,  a  Stranger  for  once  or  twice,  and  he  is  well,  diverted  with 
the.different  Humours,  when  the  Mugs  overflow." 
■  Although  in  the  early  days  of  this  Club  there  was  no  room 
for  politics,  or  anything  that  could  sour  conversation,  the 
Mug-house  subsequently  became  a  rallying-place  for  the 
most  virulent  political  antagonism,  arising.. out  of  the  change 
of  dynasty,  a  weighty  matter  to  debate  over  mugs  of  ale. 
The  death  of  Anne  brought  on  the  Hanover  succession. 
The  Tories  had  then  so  much  the  better  of  the  other  party, 
that  they  gained  the  mob  on  all  public  occasions  to  their 
side.     It  then  became  necessary  for  King  George's  friends 


40  CLUB  LIFE  OF  L0NJ30N. 

to  do  something  to  counteract  this  tendency.  Accordingly, 
they  established  Mug-houses,  like  that  of  Long  Acre,  through- 
out the  metropolis,  for  well-afifected  tradesmen  to  meet  and 
keep  up  the  spirit  of  loyalty  to  the  Protestant  succession. 
First,  they  had  one  in  St.  John's-lane,  chiefly  under  the 
patronage  of  Mr.  Blenman,  member  of  the  Middle  Temple, 
who  took  for  his  motto,  "  Pro  rege  et  lege."  Then  arose 
the  Roebuck  Mug-house,  in  Cheapside,  the  haunt  of  a 
fraternity  of  young  men,  who  had  been  organized  for  political 
action  before  the  end  of  the  late  reign. 

According  to  a  pamphlet  on  the  subject,  dated  in  17x7, 
"  the  next  Mug-houses  opened  in  the  City  were  at  Mrs. 
Read's,  in  Salisbury-court,  in  Fleet-street,  and  at  the  Harp 
in  Tower-street,  and  another  at  the  Roebuck  in  Whitechapel. 
■  About  the  same  time  several  other  Mug-houses  were  erected 
in  the  suburbs,  for  the  reception  and  entertainment  of  the 
like  loyal  Societies  :  viz.  one  at  the  Ship,  in  Tavistock-street, 
Coveiit  Garden,  which  is  mostly  frequented  by  royal  officers 
of  the  army,  another  at  the  Black  Horse,  in  Queen-street 
near  Lincoln's  Inn  Fields,  set  up  and  carried  on  by  gentle- 
men, servants  to  that  noble  patron  of  loyalty,  to  whom  this 
vindication  of  it  is  inscribed  [the  Duke  of  Newcastle] ;  a 
third  was  set  up  at  the  Nag's  Head,  in  James-street,  Covent 
Garden ;  a  fourth  at  the  Fleece,  in  Burleigii-street,  near 
Exeter  Change ;  a  fifth  at  the  Hand  and  Tench,  near  the 
Seven  Dials;  several  in  Spittlefields,  by  the  French  refugees ; 
one  in  Southwark  Park;  and  another  in  the  Artillery- 
ground."  Another  rioted  Mug-house  was  the  Magpie,  with- 
out Newgate,  which  house  still  exists  as  the  Magpie  and 
Stump,  in  the  Old  Bailey.  At  all  these  houses  it  was 
customary  in  the  forenoon  to  exhibit  the  whole  of  the  mugs 
belonging  to  the  estabhshment,  in  a  row  in  front  of  the 
house. 

'  The  frequenters  of  these  several  Mug-houses  formed  them- 
selves into  "  Mug-house  Clubs,"  known  severally  by  some 
distinctive  name,  and  each  Club  had  its  President  to  rule  its 


MUG-HOUSE  CLUBS.  41 

meetings  and  keep  ordeh  The  President  was  treated  with 
great  ceremony  and  respect :  he  was  conducted  to  his  chair 
every  evening  at  about  seven  o'clock,  by  members  carrying 
candles  before  and  behind  him,  and  accompanied  with 
music.  Having  taken  a  seat,  he  appointed  a  Vice-president, 
and  drank  the  health  of  the  company  assembled,  a  compli- 
ment which  the  company  returned.  The  evening  was  then 
passed  in  drinking  successively  loyal  and  other  healths,  and 
in  singing  songs.  Soon  after  ten  they  broke  up,  the  Presi- 
dent naming  his  successor  for  the  next  evening ;  and  before 
he  left  the  chair,  a  collection  was  made  for  the  musicians. 

We  shall  now  see  how  these  Clubs  took  so  active  a  part 
in  the  violent  political  struggles  of  the  time.  The  Jacobites 
had  laboured  with  much  zeal  to  secure  the  alliance  of  the 
street  mob,  and  they  had  used  it  with  great  effect,  in  con- 
nexion with  Dr.  Sacheverell,  in  overturning  Queen  Anne's 
Whig  Government,  and  paving  the  way  for  the  return  of  the 
exiled  family.  Disappointment  at  the  accession  of  George  I. 
rendered  the  party  of  the  Pretender  more  unscrupulous ;  the 
mob  was  excited  to  greater  excesses,  and  the  streets  of  the 
metropolis  were  occupied  by  an  infuriated  rabble,  and  pre- 
sented a  nightly  scene  of  riot.  It  was  under  these  circum- 
stances that  the  Mug-house  Clubs  volunteered,  in  a  very 
disorderly  manner,  to  be  champions  of  order ;  and  with  this 
purpose  it  became  part  of  their  evening's  entertainment  to 
march  into  the  street,  and  fight  the  Jacobite  mob.  This 
practice  commenced  in  the  autumn  of  17 15,  when  the  Club 
called  the  Loyal  Society,  which  met  at  the  Roebuck  in 
Cheapside,  distinguished  itself  by  its  hostility  to  Jacobitism. 
On  one  occasion  this  Club  burned  the  Pretender  in  effigy. 
Their  first  conflict  with  the  mob,  recorded  in  the  newspapers, 
occurred  on  the  31st  of  January,  1715,  the  birthday  of  the 
Prince  of  Wales,  which  was  celebrated  by  illuminations  and 
bonfires.  There  were  a  few  Jacobite  alehouses,  chiefly  on 
Holbom  Hill,  in  Sacheverell's  period ;  and  on  Ludgate-hill : 
the  frequenters  of  the  latter  stirred  up  the  mob  to  raise  a 


42  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

riot  there,  put  out  the  bonfire,  and  break  the  windovfs  which 
were  illuminated.  The  Loyal  Society,  meij,  receiving  in- 
telligence of  what  was  going  on,  hurried  to  the  spot,  and 
thrashed  and  defeated  the  rioters. 

On  the  4th  of  November  in  the  same  year,  the  birthday 
of  King  William  III.,  the  Jacobite  mob  made  a  large  bonfire 
in  the  Old  Jewry,  to  bum  an  effigy  of  the  King ;  but  the 
Mug-house  men  came  upon  them  again,  gave  them  "  due 
chastisement  with  oaken  plants,"  extinguished  their  bonfire, 
and  carried  King  William  in  triumph  to  the  Roebuck. 
Next  day  was  the  commemoration  of  Gunpowder  Treason, 
and  the  loyal  mob  had  its  pageant.  A  long  procession  was 
formed,  having  in  front  a  figure  of  the  .infant  .Pretender, 
accompanied  by  two  men  bearing  each  a  warming-pan, 
in  allusion  to  the  story  about  his  birth ;  and  followed  by 
effigies  in  gross  caricature  of  the  Pope,  the  Pretendejr,  the 
Diike  of  Ormond,  Lord  Bolingbroke,  and  the  Earl  of  Marr, 
with  halters  round  their  necks ;  and  all  of  them  were  to  be 
burned  in  a  large  bonfire  made  in  Cheapside.  The  pro- 
cession, starting  from  the  Roebuck,  went  through  Newgate- 
street,  and  up  Holbom-hill,  where  they  compelled  the  bells 
of  St.  Andrew's  church,  of  which  SachevereU  wa?  rector,  to 
ring;  thence  through  Lincoln's  Inn  Fields  and  Coyent 
Garden  to  the  gate  of  St.  James's  Palape ;  returning  by  way 
.of  Pall  Mall  and  the  Strand,  and  through  St.  Paul's 
Churchyard.  They  had  met  with  no  interruption,  on  their 
way,  but  on  their  return  to  Cheapside,  they  found  that, 
during  their  absence,  that  quarter  had  been  invaded  by  the 
Jacobite  mob,  who  had  carried  away  all  the  fuel  which  had 
been  collected  for  the  bonfire. 

On  November  17,  in  the  same  year,  the  Loyal  Society 
met  at  the  Roebuck  to  celebrate  the  anniversary ,  of  the 
Accession  of  Queen  Elizabeth ;  and,  while  busy  with  their 
mugs,  they  received  information  that  the  Jacobites  were 
assembled  in  great  force,  in  St.  Martin's-le-Grand,  and  were 
preparing  to  burn  the  effigies  of  King  William  and  King 


MUG-HOUSE  CLUBS.  43 

George,  along  with  the  Duke  of  Marlborough.  They  were 
so  near,  in  fact,  that  their  party-shouts  of  High  Church, 
Ormond,  and  King  James,  must  have  been  audible  at  the 
Roebuck,  which  stood  opposite  Bow  Church.  The  Jacobites 
were  starting  on  their  procession,  when  they  were  overtaken 
in  Newgate-street,  by  the  Mug-house  men  from  the  Roebuck, 
and  a  desperate  encounter  took  place,  in  which  the 
Jacobites  were  defeated,  and  many  of  them  were  seriously 
injured.  Meanwhile  the  Roebuck  itself  had  been  the  scene 
of  a  much  more  serious  tumult.  During  the  absence  of  the 
great  mass  of  the  members  of  the  Club,  another  body 
of  Jacobites,  much  more  numerous  than  those  engaged  in 
Newgate  Street,  suddenly  assembled,  attacked  the  Roebuck 
Mug-house,  broke  its  windows,  and  those  of  the  adjoining 
houses,  and  with  terrible  threats,  attempted  to  force  the 
door.  One  of  the  few  members  of  the  Loyal  Society  who 
remained  at  home,  discharged  a  gun  upon ,  those  of  the 
assailants  who  were  attacking  the  door,  and  killed  one  of 
their  leaders.  This  and  the  approach  of  the  Lord  Mayor 
and  city  officers,  caused  the  mob  to  disperse  j  but  the 
Roebuck  was  exposed  to  attacks  during  several  following 
.  nights,  after  which  the  mobs  remained  tolerably  quiet  during 
the  winter. 

Early  in  17 16,  however,  these  riots  were  renewed  with 
greater  violence,  and  preparations  were  made  for  an  active 
campaign.  The  Mug-houses  were  re-fitted,  and  re-opened 
with  ceremonious  entertainments.  New  songs  were  com- 
posed to  stir  up  the  Clubs ;  and  collections  of  these 
Mug-house  songs  were  printed.  The  Jacobite  mob  was 
heard  beating  with  its  well-known  call,  marrow-bones  and 
cleavers,  and  both  sides  were  well  equipped  with  staves  ot 
oak,  their  usual  arms  for  the  fray,  though  other  weapons  and 
missiles  were  in  common  use.  One  of  the  Mug-house  songs 
thus  describes  the  way  in  which  these  street  fights  were 
conducted : — 


44  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

Since  the  Tories  could  not  fight, 
And  their  master  took  his  flight, 

They  labour  to  keep  up  their  faction  ; 
With  a  bough  and  a  stick. 
And  a  stone  and  a  brick, 

They  equip  their  roaring  crew  for  action. 

Thus  in  battle  array, 
At  the  close  of  the  day, 

After  wisely  debating  their  plot, 
Upon  windows  and  stall 
They  courageously  fall, 

And  boast  a  great  victory  they've  got. 

But,  alas  !  silly  boys  ! 
For  all  the  mighty  noise 

Of  their  "  High  Church  and  Ormond  forever  !" 
A  brave  Whig,  with  one  hand. 
At  George's  command, 

Can  make  their  mightiest  hero  to  quiver. 

On  March  8,  another  great  Whig  anniversary,  the  day 
of  the  death  of  WilUam  III.,  commenced  the  more  serious 
Mug-house  riots  of  1716.  A  large  Jacobite  mob  assembled 
to  their  own  watch-cry,  and  marched  along  Cheapside,  to 
attack  the  Roebuck  ;  but  they  were  soon  driven  back  by  a 
small  party  of  the  Royal  Society,  who  then  marched  in 
procession  through  Newgate  Street,  to  the  Magpie  and 
Stump,  and  then  by  the  Old  Bailey  to  Ludgate  Hill.  When 
about  to  return,  they  found  the  Jacobite  mob  had  collected 
in  great  force  in  their  rear ;  and  a  fierce  engagement 
■took  place  in  Newgate  Street,  when  the  Jacobites  were 
again  worsted.  Then,  on  the  evening  of  the  23rd  of  April, 
the  anniversary  of  the  birth  of  Queen  Anne,  there  were 
great  battles  in  Cheapside,  and  at  the  end  of  Giltspur 
Street ;  and  in  the  immediate  neighbourhood  of  the  Roe- 
buck and  the  Magpie.  Other  great  tumults  took  place  on 
the  29th  of  May,  Restoration  Day;  and  on  the  loth  of 
June,  the  Pretender's  birthday.  From  this  time  the  Roebuck 
is  rarely  mentioned. 

The  Whigs,  who  met  in  the  Mug-house,  kept   by  Mr, 


MUG-HOUSE  CLUBS.  45 

Read,  in  Salisbury  Court,  Fleet  Street,  appear  to  have  been 
peculiarly  noisy  in  their  cups,  and  thus  rendered  themselves 
the  more  obnoxious  to  the  mob.  On  one  occasion,  July 
20,  their  violent  party-toasts,  which  they  drank  in  the 
parlour  with  open  windows,  collected  a  large  crowd  of 
persons,  who  became  at  last  so  incensed  by  some  tipsy 
Whigs  inside,  that  they  commenced  a  furious  attack  upon 
the  house,  and  threatened  to  pull  it  down  and  make  a 
bonfire  of  its  materials  in  the  middle  of  Fleet  Street.  The 
Whigs  immediately  closed  their  windows  and  barricaded 
the  doors,  having  sent  a  messenger  by  a  back  door,  to  the 
Mug-house — in  Tavistock  Street,  Covent  Garden,  begging 
that  the  persons  there  assembled  would  come  to  the  rescue. 
The  call  was  immediately  responded  to  ;  the  Mug-house 
men  proceeded  in  a  body  down  the  Strand  and  Fleet 
Street,  armed  with  staves  and  bludgeons,  and  commenced 
an  attack  on  the  mob,  who  still  threatened  the  demolition 
of  the  house  in  Salisbury  Court.  The  inmates  sallied  out, 
armed  with  pokers  and  tongs,  and  whatever  they  could  lay 
their  hands  upon,  and  being  joined  by  their  friends  froni 
Covent  Garden,  the  mob  was  put  to  flight,  and  the  Mug- 
house  men  remained  masters  of  the  field. 

The  popular  indignation  was  very  great  at  this  defeat; 
and  for  two  days  crowds  collected  in  the  neighbourhood, 
and  vowed  they  would  have  revenge.  But  the  knowledge 
that  a  squadron  of  horse  was  drawn  up  at  Whitehall,  ready 
to  ride  into  the  City  on  the  first  alarm,  kept  order.  ,  On  the 
third  day,  however,  the  people  found  a  leader  in  the  person 
of  one  Vaughan,  formerly  a  Bridewell  boy,  who  instigated 
the  mob  to  take  revenge  for  their  late  defeat.  They 
followed  him  with  shouts  of  "  High  Church  and  Ormond  ! 
down  with  the  Mug-house !"  and  Read,  the  landlord 
dreading  that  they  would  either  burn  or  pull  down  his 
house,  prepared  to  defend  himself.  He  threw  up  a  window 
and  presented  a  loaded  blunderbuss,  and,  vowed  ,he  -wrould 
discharge  its  contents  into  the  body  of  the  first  man  who 


46  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

advanced  agaiinst  :his  house.  This  threat  exasperated  the 
mob,  who  ran  dgainst  the  door  with  furious  yellsv  Read 
was  as  good  as  his  word, — ^he  fired,  and  the  unfortunate 
man  Vaughan  fell  dead  upon  the  spot.  The  people,  now 
frantic,  severe  to  hang  up  the  landlord  from  his  own  sign- 
post. They  forced  the  door,  pulled  down  the  sign,  and 
entered  the  hotise,  where  Read  would  assuredly  have  beeri 
sacrificed  to  their  fury,  if  they  had  found  him.  He, 
however,  had  with  great  risk  escaped  by  a  back-door. 
Disappointed  at  this,  the  mob  broke  the  furniture  to  pieces, 
destroyed  everything  that  lay  in  their  way,  and  left  only  the 
bare  walls  of  the  house.  They  now  threatened  to  burn  the 
whole  street,  and  were  about  to  set  fire  to  Read's  house, 
when  the  Sheriffs,  with  a  posse  of  constables,  arrived.  The 
Riot  Act  was  read,  but  disregarded  j  and  the  Sheriffs  sent 
to  Whitehall  for  a  detachment  of  the  military.  A  squadron 
of  horse  sooii  arrived,  and  cleared  the  streets,  taking  five 
of  the  most  active  rioters  into  custody. 

Read,  the  landlord,  was  captured  on  the  following  day, 
and  tried  for  the  wilful  murder  of  Vaughan ;  he  was,  however, 
acquitted  of  the  capital  charge,  and  found  guilty  of  man- 
slaughter only.  The  five  rioters  were  also  brought  to  trial, 
and  met  with  a  harder  fate.  They  were  all  found  guilty  of 
riot  and  rebellion,  and  sentenced  to  death  at  Tyburn.  • 

This  exMiple  damped  the  courage  of  the  rioters,  and 
alarmed  all  parties;  so  that  we  hear  no  more  of  the  Mug- 
house  riots,  until  a  few  months  later,  a  paihphlet  appeared 
with  the  title,  Down  with  the  Mug;  or  Reasons  for  suppress^ 
ing  the  Mug-houses,  by  an  author  who  only  gave  the  initials 

Sir  H — ^ —  M ,  but  who  seems  to  have  so  much  of  what 

was  thought  to  be  a  Jacobite  spirit,  that  it  provoked  a 
reply,  entitled  the  Mug  Vi?idicated. 

The  account  of  1722  states  that  many  an  encounter  they 
had,  and  many  were  the  riots,  till  at  last  tke  Government 
was  obliged  by  an  Act  of  Parliament  to  put  an  end  to  this 
strife,  which  had  this  good  effect,  that  upon  pulling  down  of 


THE  KIT-KAT  CLUB.  47 

the  Mug-house  in  Salisbury  Court,  for  which  some  boys 
were  hanged  on  this  Act,  the  city  has  not  been  troubled 
with  them  since. 

There  is  some  doubt  as  to  the  first  use  of  the  term  "Mug. 
house."  In  a  scarce  Collection  of  One  Hundred  and  Eighty 
Loyal  Songs,  all  written  since  1678^  Fourth  Edition,  1694, 
is  a  song  in  praise  of  the  "  Mug,"  which  shows  that  Mug- 
houses  had  that  name  previous  to  the  Mug-house  riots.  It 
has  also  been  stated  that  the  beer-mugs  were  originally 
fashioned  into  a  grotesque  resemblance  of  Lord  Shaftes- 
bury's face,  or  "  ugly  mug,"  as  it  was  called,  and  that  this  is 
the  derivation  of  the  word. 

,  The  Kit-Kat  Club. 

This  famous  Club  was  a  threefold  celebrity — political, 
literary,  and  artistic.  It  was  the  great  Society  of  Whig 
leaders,  formed  about  the  year  1700,  tenip.  William  III., 
consisting  of  thirty-nine  noblemen  and  gentlemen  zealously 
attached  to  the  House  of  Hanover;  among  whom  the  Dukes 
of  Somerset,  Richmond,  Grafton,  Devonshire,  and  Marl- 
borough, and  (after  the  accession  of  George  I.)  the  Duke  of 
Newcastle ;  the  Earls  of  Dorset,  Sunderland,  Manchester, 
Wharton,  and  Kingston ;  Lords  Halifax  and  Somers ;  Sir 
Robert  Walpole,  Vanbrugh,  Congreve,  Granville,  Addison, 
Garth,  Maynwaring,  Stepney,  and  Walsh.  They  are  said  to 
have  first  met  at  an  obscure  house  in  Shire-lane,  by  Temple 
Bar,  at  the  house  of  a  noted  mutton-pieman,  one  Christopher 
Katt;  from  whom  the  Club,  and  the  pies  that  formed  a 
standing  dish  at  the  Club  suppers,  both  took  their  name  of 
Kit-Kat.  In  the  Spectator,  No.  9,  however,  they  are  said  to 
have  derived  their  title  not  from  the  maker  of  the  pie,  but 
from  the  pie  itself,  which  was  called  a  Kit-Kat,  as  we  now 
say  a  Sandwich ;  thus,  in  a  prologue  to  a  comedy  of  1700 : 

A  Kit-Kat  is  a  supper  for  a  lord  ; 
but  Dr.  King,  in  his  Art  of  Cookery,  is  for  the  pieman  : 
Immortal  made,  as  Kit-Kat  by  his  pies. 


48.  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

The  origin  and  early  history  of  the  Kit-Kat  Club  is  obscure. 
Elkanah  Settle  addressed,  in  1699,  a  manuscript  poem  "To 
the  most  renowned  the  President  and  the  rest  of  the  Knights 
of  the  most  noble  Order  of  the  Toast,"  in  which  verses  is 
asserted  the  dignity  of  the  Society ;  and  Malone  supposes 
the  Order  of  the  Toast  to  have  been  identical  with  the  Kit- 
Kat  Club  :  this  was  in  1699.  The  toasting-glasses,  which 
we  shall  presently  mention,  may  have  something  to  do  with 
this  presumed  identity. 

Ned  Ward,  in  his  Secret  History  of  Clubs,  at  once  connects 
the  Kit-Kat  Club  with  Jacob  Tonson,  "  an  amphibious 
mortal,  chief  merchant  to  the  Muses."  Yet  this  is  evidently 
a  caricature.  The  maker  of  the  mutton-pies,  Ward  main- 
tains to  be  a  person  named  Christopher,  who  lived  at  the 
sign  of  the  Cat  and  Fiddle,  in  Gray's  Inn-lane,  whence  he 
removed  to  keep  a  pudding-pye  shop,  near  the  Fountain  '• 
Tavern,  in  the  Strand.  Ward  commends  his  mutton-pies,  • 
cheese-cakes,  and  custards,  and  the  pieman's  interest  in  the 
sons  of  Parnassus ;  and  his  inviting  "a  new  set  of  Authors 
to  a  collation  of  oven  trumpery  at  his  friend's  house,  where 
they  were  nobly  entertained  with  as  curious  a  batch  of  pastry 
delicacies  as  ever  were  seen  at  the  winding-up  of  a  Lord 
Mayor's  feast;''  adding  that  "there  was  not  a  mathematical 
figure  in  all  Euclid's  Elements  but  what  was  presented  to 
the  table  in  baked  wares,  whose  cavities  were  filled  with  fine 
eatable  varieties  fit  for  the  gods  or  poets."  Mr.  Charles 
Knight,  in  the  Shilling  Magazine,  No.  2,  maintains  that  by 
the  above  is  meant,  that  Jacob  Tonson,  the  bookseller,  was 
the  pieman's  "  friend,"  and  that  to  the  customary  "whet" 
to  his  authors  he  added  the  pastry  entertainment.  Ward 
adds,  that  this  grew  into  a  weekly  meeting,  provided  his,  the 
bookseller's  friends  would  give  him  the  refusal  of  their 
juvenile  productions.  This  "  generous  proposal  was  very 
readily  agreed  to  by  the  whole  poetic  class,  and  the  cook's 
name  being  Christopher,  for  brevity  called  Kit,  and  his  sign  ■ 
being  the  Cat  and  Fiddle,  they  very  merrily  derived  a  quaint 


Crockford's,  St.  James's  Street.     (Gaming  Club,  1827-40.) 


White's   Club,   on  the  left  of  St.  James's  Palace. 
(From  a  Drawing  of  the  time  of  Queen  Anne.) 


THE  KIT-KAT  CLUB.  49 

denomination  from  puss  and  her  master,  and  from  thence 
called  themselves  of  the  Kit-Cat  Club." 

A  writer  in  the  Book  of  Days,  however,  states,  that 
Christopher  Cat,  the  pastry-cook,  of  King-street,  West- 
minster, was  the  keeper  of  the  tavern,  where  the  Club  met ; 
but  Shire-lane  was,  upon  more  direct  authority,  the  pieman's 
abode. 

We  agree  with  the  National  Review,  that  "  it  is  hard  to 
believe,  as  we  pick  our  way  along  the  narrow  and  filthy 
pathway  of  Shire-lane,  that  in  this  blind  alley  [?],  some 
hundred  and  fifty  years  ago,  used  to  meet  many  of  the  finest 
gentlemen  and  choicest  wits  of  the  days  of  Queen  Anne  and 
the  first  George.  Inside  one  of  those  frowsy  and  low-ceiled 
rooms,  now  tenanted  by  abandoned  women  or  devoted  to 
the  sale  of  greengroceries  and  small  coal, — Halifax  has 
conversed  and  Somers  unbent,  Addison  mellowed  over  a 
bottle,  Congreve  flashed  his  wit,  Vanbrugh  let  loose  his  easy 
humour,  Garth  talked  and  rhymed." 

The  Club  was  Hterary  and  gallant  as  well  as  political.. 
Tl,e  nieir.beis  subscribed  400  guineas  for  the  encourage- 
ment of  good  comedies  in  1 709.  The  Club  had  its  toast- 
ing-glasses,  inscribed  with  a  verse,  or  toast,  to  some  reigning 
beauty  J  among  whom  were  the  four  shining  daughters  of 
the  Duke  of  Marlborough — Lady  Godolphin,  Lady  Sunder- 
land, Lady  Bridgewater,  and  Lady  Monthermer;  Swift's 
friends,  Mrs.  Long  and  Mrs.  Barton,  the  latter  the  lovely 
and  witty  niece  of  Sir  Isaac  Newton  j  the  Duchess  of  Bolton, 
Mrs.  Brudenell,  and  Lady  Carlisle,  Mrs.  DL  Kirk,  and  Lady 
Wharton. 

Dr.  Arbuthnot,  in  the  following  epigram,  seems  to  derive 
the  name  of  the  Club  from  this  custom  of  toasting  ladies 
after  dinner,  rather  than  from  the  renowned  maker  of 
tiutton-pies  : — 

Whence  deathless  Kit-Kat  took  his  name. 

Few  critics  can  unriddle  : 
Some  say  from  pastrycook  it  came. 

And  some  from  Cat  and  Fiddle. 

E 


Sa  CLUB  LIFE  Of  LONDON. 

From  no  trim  beaus  its  name  it  boasts, 

Grey  statesmen  or  green  wits, 
But  from  this  pell-mell  pack  of  toasts 

Of  old  Cats  and  young  Kits. 

Lord  Halifax  wrote  for  the  toasting-glasses  the  following 

verses  in  1703  ; — 

The  Duchess  of  St,  Albans. 
The  line  of  Vere,  so  long  renown'd  in  arms, 
Concludes  with  lustre  in  St.  Alban's  charms. 
Her  conquering  eyes  have  made  their  race  complete  : 
They  rose  in  valour,  and  in  beauty  set. 

The  Duchess  of  Beaujort. 
Offspring  of  a  tuneful  sire, 
Blest  with  more  than  mortal  fire  ; 
likeness  of  a  Mother's  face, 
Blest  with  more  than  mortal  grace  : 
You  with  double  charms  surprise. 
With  his  wit,  and  with  her  eyes. 

The  Lady  Mary  Churchill. 
Fairest  and  latest  of  the  beauteous  race. 
Blest  with  your  parent's  wit,  and  her  first  blooming  face ; 
Born  with  our  liberties  in  William's  reign. 
Your  eyes  alone  that  liberty  restrain. 

The  Lady  Sunderland. 
All  Nature's  charms  in  Sunderland  appear, 
Bright  as  her  eyes,  and  as  her  reason  clear ; 
Yet  still  their  force  to  man  not  safely  known, 
Seems  undiscover'd  to  herself  alone. 

The  Mademoiselle  Spankeim. 
Admir'd  in  Germany,  ador'd  in  France, 
Your  charms  to  brighten  glory  here  advance  : 
The  stubborn  Britons  own  your  beauty's  claim. 
And  with  their  native  toasts  enrol  your  name. 

To  Mrs.  Barton. 
Beauty  and  wit  strove,  each  in  vain, 
To  vanquish  Bacchus  and  his  train ; 
But  Barton  with  successful  charms, 
From  both  their  quivers  drew  her  arms. 
The  roving  God  his  sway  resigns. 
And  awfully  submits  his  vines. 


THE  KIT-KAT  CLUB.  51 

In  Spence's  Anecdotes  (note)  is  the  following  additional 
account  of  the  Club:  "You  have  heard  of  the  Kit-Kat 
Club,"  says  Pope  to  Spence.  "  The  master  of  the  house 
where  the  club  met  was  Christopher  Katt;  Tonson  was 
secretary.  The  day  Lord  Mohun  and  the  Earl  of  Berkeley 
were  entered  of  it,  Jacob  said  he  saw  they  were  just  going 
to  be  ruined.  When  Lord  Mohun  broke  down  the  gilded 
emblem  on  the  top  of  his  chair,  Jacob  complained  to  his 
friends,  and  said  a  man  who  would  do  that,  would  cut  a 
man's  throat.  So  that  he  had  the  good  and  the  forms  of  the 
society  much  at  heart.  The  paper  was  all  in  Lord  Halifax's 
handwriting  of  a  subscription  of  four  hundred  guineas  for 
the  encouragement  of  good  comedies,  and  was  dated  1709, 
soon  after  they  broke  up.  Steele,  Addison,  Congreve,  Garth, 
Vanbrugh,  Manwaring,  Stepney,  Walpole,  and  Pulteney, 
were  of  it ;  so  was  Lord  Dorset  and  the  present  Duke. 
Manwaring,  whom  we  hear  nothing  of  now,  was  the  ruling 
man  in  all  conversations ;  indeed,  what  he  wrote  had  very 
little  merit  in  it.  Lord  Stanhope  and  the  Earl  of  Essex  were 
also  members.  Jacob  had  his  own,  and  all  their  pictures, 
by  Sir  Godfrey  Kneller.  Each  member  gave  his,  and  he  is 
going  to  build  a  room  for  them  at  Bam  Elms." 

It  is  from  the  size  at  which  these  portraits  were  taken  (a 
three-quarter  length),  36  by  28  inches,  that  the  word  Kit- 
Kat  came  to  be  applied  to  pictures.  Tonson  had  the  room 
built  at  Barn  Elms ;  but  the  apartment  not  being  sufficiently 
large  to  receive  half-length  pictures,  a  shorter  canvas  was 
adopted.  In  18 17,  the  Club-room  was  standing,  but  the 
pictures  had  long  been  removed ;  soon  after,  the  room  was 
united  to  a  bam,  to  form  a  riding-house. 

In  summer  the  Club  met  at  the  Upper  Flask,  Hampstead 
Heath,  then  a  gay  resort,  with  its  races,  ruffles,  and  private 
marriages. 

The  pictures  passed  to  Richard  Tonson,  the  descendant 
of  the  old  bookseller,  who  resided  at  Water-Oakley,  on  the 
banks  of  the  Thames  :  he  added  a  room  to  his  villa,  and 

E  2 


52  CLUB  LIFE.  OF  LONDON. 

here  the  portraits  were  hung.  On  his  death  the  pictures 
were  bequeathed  to  Mr.  Baker,  of  Bayfordbury,  the  repre- 
sentative of  the  Tonson  family :  all  of  them  were  included 
in  the  Art  Treasures  Exhibition  at  Manchester  and  some  in 
the  International  Exhibition  of  1862. 

The  poHtical  significance  of  the  Club  was  such  that 
Walpole  records  that  though  the  Club  was  generally  men- 
tioned as  "a  set  of  wits,"  they  were  in  reality  the  patriots 
that  saved  Britain.  According  to  Pope  and  Tonson,  Garth, 
Vanbrugh,  and  Congreve  were  the  three  most  honest- 
hearted,  real  good  men  of  the  poetical  members  of  the 
Club. 

There  were  odd  scenes  and  incidents  occasionally  at  the 
club  meetings.  Sir  Samuel  Garth,  physician  to  George  I., 
was  a  witty  member  and  wrote  some  of  the  inscriptions  for 
the  toasting-glasses.  Coming  one  night  to  the  Club,  Garth 
declared  he  must  soon  be  gone,  having  many  patients  to 
attend;  but  some  good  wine  being  produced,  he  forgot 
them.  Sir  Richard  Steele  was  of  the  party,  and  reminding 
him  of  the  visits  he  had  to  pay.  Garth  immediately  pulled 
out  his  list,  which  numbered  fifteen,  and  said,  "  It's  no  great 
matter  whether  I  see  them  to-night,  or  not,  for  nine  of  them 
have  such  bad  constitutions  that  all  the  physicians  in  the 
world  can't  save  them ;  and  the  other  six  have  such  good 
constitutions  that  all  the  physicians  in  the  world  can't  kill 
them." 

Dr.  Hoadley,  Bishop  of  Bangor,  accompanied  Steele  and 
Addison  to  one  of  the  Whig  celebrations  by  the  Club,  of 
King  WilUam's  anniversary ;  when  Steele  had  the  double 
duty  of  celebrating  the  day  and  drinking  his  friend  Addison 
up  to  conversation  pitch,  he  being  hardly  warmed  by  that 
time.  Steele  was  not  fit  for  it.  So,  John  Sly,  the  hatter  of 
facetious  memory,  being  in  the  house,  took  it  into  his  head 
to  come  into  the  company  on  his  knees,  with  a  tankard  of 
ale  in  his  hand,  to  drink  off  to  the  immortal  memory ,  and  to 
return  in  the  same  manner.     Steele,  sitting  next  Bishop 


THE  KIl-KAT  CLUB.  S3 

Hoadley,  whispered  him,  "  Do  laugh :  it  is  humanity  to 
laugh."  By-and-by,  Steele  being  too  much  in  the  same  con- 
dition as  the  hatter,  was  put  into  a  chair,  and  sent  home. 
Nothing  would  satisfy  him  but  being  carried  to  the  Bishop 
of  Bangor's,  late  as  it  was.  However,  the  chairmen  carried 
him  home,  and  got  him  upstairs,  when  his  great  com- 
plaisance would  wait  on  them  downstairs,  which  he  did,  and 
then  was  got  quietly  to  bed.  Next  morning  Steele  sent  the 
indulgent  bishop  this  couplet : 

Virtue  with  so  much  ease  on  Bangor  sits, 

All  faults  he  pardons,  though  he  none  commits. 

Mr.  Knight  successfully  defends  Tonson  from  Ward's 
satire,  and  nobly  stands  forth  for  the  bookseller  who 
identified  himself  with  Milton,  by  first  making  Paradise 
Lost  popular^  and  being  the  first  bookseller  who  threw  open 
Shakspeare  to  a  reading  public.  "The  statesmen  of  the 
Kit-Kat  Club,"  he  adds,  "  lived  in  social  union  with  tlie 
Whig  writers  who  were  devoted  to  the  charge  of  the  poetry 
that  opened  their  road  to  preferment ;  the  band  of  orators 
and  wits  were  naturally  hateful  to  the  Tory  authors  that 
Harley  and  Bolingbroke  were  nursing  into  the  bitter  satirists 
of  the  weekly  sheets."  Jacob  Tonson  naturally  came  in  for 
a  due  share  of  invective.  In  a  poem  entitled  Pactions 
Displayed,  he  is  ironically  introduced  as  "  the  Touchstone  of 
all  modern  wit ;"  and  he  is  made  to  vilify  the  great  ones  of 
Bam  Elms  : 

I  am  the  founder  of  your  loved  Kit-Kat, 

A  club  that  gave  direction  to  the  State : 

'Twas  there  we  first  instructed  all  our  youth 

To  talk  profane,  and  laugh  at  sacred  truth  : 

We  taught  them  how  to  boast,  and  rhyme,  and  bite. 

To  sleep  away  the  day,  and  drink  away  the  night. 

;'onson  deserved  better  of  posterity. 


54  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 


The  Tatler's  Club  in  Shire-lane. 

Shire-lane,  alias  Rogue-lane,  (which  falleth  into  Fleet- 
street  by  Temple  Bar,)  has  lost  its  old  name — it  is  now 
called  Lower  Serle's-place.  If  the  morals  of  Shire-lane 
have  mended  thereby,  we  must  not  repine. 

Here  lived  Sir  Charles  Sedley;  and  here  his  son,  the 
dramatic  poet,  was  born,  "  neere  the  Globe."  Here,  too, 
lived  Elias  Ashmole,  and  here  Antony  \  Wood  dined  with 
him  :  this  was  at  the  upper  end  of  the  lane.  Here,  too, 
was  the  Trumpet  tavern,  where  Isaac  Bickerstaff  met  his 
Club.  At  this  house  he  dated  a  great  number  of  his  papers  ; 
and  hence  he  led  down  the  lane  into  Fleet-street,  the. 
deputation  of  "  Twaddlers  "  from  the  country,  to  Dick's 
Coffee-house,  which  we  never  enter  without  remembering 
the  glorious  humour  of  Addison  and  Steele,  in  the  Tatter, 
No.  86.  Sir  Harry  Quickset,  Sir  Giles  Wheelbarrow,  and 
other  persons  of  quality,  having  reached  the  Tatler's  by 
appointment,  and  it  being  settled  that  they  should  "  adjourn 
to  some  public-house,  and  enter  upon  business,''  the  pre- 
cedence was  attended  with  much  difficulty ;  when,  upon  a 
false  alarm  of  "lire,"  all  ran  down  as  fast  as  they  could, 
without  order  or  ceremony,  and  drew  up  in  the  street. 

The  Tatler  proteeds  :  "  In  this  order  we  marched  down 
Sheer-lane,  at  the  upper  end  of  which  I  lodge.  When  we 
came  to  Temple  Bar,  Sir  Harry  and  Sir  Giles  got  over,  but 
a  run  of  coaches  kept  the  rest  of  us  on  this  side  of  the  street ; 
however,  we  all  at  last  landed,  and  drew  up  in  very  good 
order  before  Ben  Tooke's  shop,  who  favoured  our  rallying 
with  great  humanity;  from  whence  we  proceeded  again; 
until  we  came  to  Dick's  Coifee-house,  where  I  designed  to 
carry  them.  Here  we  were  at  our  old  difficulty,  and  took 
up  the  street  upon  the  same  ceremony.  We  proceeded 
through  the  entry,  and  were  so  necessarily  kept  in  order  by 
the  situation,  that  we  were  now  got  into  the  coffee-house 


THE  TATLER'S  CLUB  IN  SHIRE-LANE.  55 

itself,  where,  as  soon  as  we  had  arrived,  we  repeated  our 
civilities  to  each  other;  after  which  we  marched  up  to 
the  high  table,  which  has  an  ascent  to  it  inclosed  in  the 
middle  of  the  room.  The  whole  house  was  alarmed  at 
this  entry,  made  up  of  persons  of  so  much  state  and  rus- 
ticity." 

The  Taller' s  Club  is  immortalized  in  his  No.  132.  Its 
members  are  smokers  and  old  story-tellers,  rather  easy  than 
shining  companions,  promoting  the  thoughts  tranquilly  bed- 
ward,  and  not  the  less  comfortable  to  Mr.  Bickerstaff, 
because  he  finds  himself  the  leading  wit  among  them.  There 
is  old  Sir  Jefirey  Notch,  who  has  had  misfortunes  in  the 
world,  and  calls  every  thriving  man  a  pitiful  upstart,  by  no 
means  to  the  general  dissatisfaction !  there  is  Major  Match- 
lock, who  served  in  the  last  Civil  Wars,  and  every  night  tells 
them  of  his  having  been  knocked  off  his  horse  at  the  rising 
of  the  London  apprentices,  for  which  he  is  in  great  esteem ; 
there  is  honest  Dick  Reptile,  who  says  little  himself,  but 
who  laughs  at  all  the  jokes ;  and  there  is  the  elderly 
bencher  of  the  Temple,  and,  next  to  Mr.  Bickerstaff,  the 
wit  of  the  company,  who  has  by  heart  the  couplets  of 
Hudibras,  which  he  regularly  applies  before  leaving  the 
Club  of  an  evening ;  and  who,  if  any  modern  wit  or  town 
froUc  be  mentioned,  shakes  his  head  at  the  dulness  of  the 
present  age,  and  tells  a  story  of  Jack  Ogle.  As  for  Mr. 
Bickerstaff  himself,  he  is  esteemed  among  them  because 
they  see  he  is  something  respected  by  others  ;  but  though 
they  concede  to  him  a  great  deal  of  learning,  they  credit  him 
with  small  knowledge  of  the  world,  "insomuch  that  the 
Major  sometimes,  in  the  height  of  his  military  pride,  calls 
me  philosopher;  and  Sir  Jeffrey,  no  longer  ago  than  last 
night,  upon  a  dispute  what  day  of  the  month  it  was  then 
in  Holland,  pulled  his  pipe  out  of  his  mouth,  and  cried, 
'  What  does  the  scholar  say  to  that  ?' " 

Upon  Addison's  return  to  England  he  found  his  friend 
Steele   established  among  the  wits  :    and  they  were  both 


56  CLUB  LII'E  OF  LONDON. 

received  with  great  honour  at  the  Trumpet,  as  well  as  at 
Will's,  and  the  St.  James's. 

The  Trumpet  public-house  lasted  to  our  time;  it  was 
changed  to  the  Duke  of  York  sign,  but  has  long  disappeared  : 
we  remember  an  old  drawing  of  the  Trumpet,  by  Sam. 
Ireland,  engraved  in  the  Monthcy  Magazine. 

The  Royal  Society  Club. 

In  Sir  R.  Kaye's  Collection,  in  the  British  Museum,  we 
find  the  following  account  of  the  institution  of  a  Society 
which  at  one  time  numbered  among  its  members  some  of 
the  most  eminent  men  in  London,  in  a  communication 
to  the  Rev.  Sir  R.  Kaye  by  Sir  Joseph  Ayloffe,  an  original 
member :— "  Dr.  Halley  used  to  come  on  a  Tuesday  from 
Greenwich,  the  Royal  Observatory,  to  Child's  Coflfee-house, 
where  literary  people  met  for  conversation :  and  he  dined 
with  his  sister,  but  sometimes  they  stayed  so  long  that  he 
was  too  late  for  dinner,  and  they  likewise,  at  their  own 
home.  They  then  agree  to  go  to  a  house  in  Dean's-court, 
between  an  ale-house  and  a  tavern,  now  a  stationer's  shop, 
where  there  was  a  great  draft  of  porter,  but  not  drank  in  the 
house.  It  was  kept  by  one  Reynell.  It  was  agreed  that 
one  of  the  company  should  go  to  Knight's  and  buy  fish  in 
Newgate-street,  having  first  informed  himself  how  many 
meant  to  stay  and  dine.  The  ordinary  and  liquor  usually 
came  to  half-a-crown,  and  the  dinner  only  consisted  of  fish 
and  pudding.  Dr.  Halley  never  eat  anything  but  fish,  for 
he  had  no  teeth.  The  number  seldom  exceeded  five  or  six. 
It  began  to  take  place  about  1731;  soon  afterwards 
Reynell  took  the  King's  Arms,  in  St.  Paul's  Churchyard; 
and  desired  Dr.  Halley  to  go  with  him  there.  He  and 
others  consented,  and  they  began  to  have  a  little  meat.  On 
Dr.  Halley's  death,  Martin  Foulkes  took  the  chair.  They 
afterwards  removed  to  the  Mitre  (Fleet-street),  for  the 
convenience  of  the   situation  with  respect  to   the   Royal 


THE  ROYAL  SOCIETY  CLUB.  57 

Society,  and  as  it  was  near  Crane-court,  and  numbers 
wished  to  become  members.  It  was  necessary  to  give  it  a 
form.  The  number  was  fixed  at  forty  members ;  one  of 
whom  was  to  be  Treasurer  and  Secretary  of  the  Royal 
Society." 

Out  of  these  meetings  is  said  to  have  grown  the  Royal 
Society  Club,  or,  as  it  was  styled  durmg  the  first  half 
century  of  its  existence,  the  Club  of  Royal  Philosophers. 
"  It  was  established  for  the  convenience  of  certain  members 
who  lived  in  various  parts,  that  they  might  assemble  and  dine 
together  on  the  days  when  the  Society  held  its  evening  meet- 
ings ;  and  from  its  almost  free  admission  of  members  of  the 
Council  detained  by  business,  its  liberality  to  visitors,  and 
its  hospitable  reception  of  scientific  foreigners,  it  has  been 
of  obvious  utility  to  the  scientific  body  at  large."  (Rise  and 
Progress  of  the  Club,  privately  printed.) 

The  foundation  of  the  Club  is  stated  to  have  been  in 
the  year  1743,  and  in  the  Minutes  of  this  date  are  the 
following  :^ 

"  Jiules  and  Orders  to  be  observed  by  the  Thursday's  Club, 
called  the  Royal  Philosophers. — A  Dinner  to  be  ordered  every 
Thursday  for  six,  at  one  shilling  and  sixpence  a  head  for 
eating.  As  many  more  as  come  to  pay  one  shilling  and 
sixpence  per  head  each.  If  fewer  than  six  come,  the 
deficiency  to  be  paid  out  of  the  fund  subscribed.  Each 
subscriber  to  pay  down  six  shillings — viz.  for  four  dinners,  to 
make  a  fund.  A  pint  of  wine  to  be  paid  for  by  every  one 
that  comes,  be  the  number  what  it  will,  and  no  more,  unless 
more  wine  is  brought  in  than  that  amounts  to." 

In  addition  to  Sir  R.  Kaye's  testimony  to  the  existence 
of  a  club  of  an  earlier  date  than  1743,  there  are  in  the 
Minutes  certain  references  to  "antient  Members  of  the 
Club  ;"  and  a  tradition  of  the  ill  omen  of  thirteen  persons 
dining  at  the  table  said  to  be  on  record  in  the  Club  papers : 
"that  one  of  the  Royal  Philosophers  entering  the  Mitre 
Tavern,  and  finding  twelve  others  about  to  discuss  the  fare, 


58  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

retreated,  and  dined  by  himself  in  another  apartment,  in 
order  to  avert  the  prognostic."  Still,  no  such  statement  is 
now  to  be  found  entered,  and  if  ever  it  were  recorded, 
it  must  have  been  anterior  to  1743;  curiously  enough, 
thirteen  is  a  very  usual  number  at  these  dinners. 

The  original  Members  were  soon  increased  by  various 
Fellows  of  the  Society ;  and  at  first  the  Club  did  not  consist 
exclusively  of  Royals;  but  this  arrangement  not  having 
been  found  to  work  well,  the  membership  was  confined  to 
the  Fellows,  and  latterly  to  the  number  of  forty.  Every 
Member  was  allowed  to  introduce  one  friend ;  but  the 
President  of  the  Royal  Society  was  not  limited  in  this 
respect. 

We  must  now  say  a  few  words  as  to  the  several  places  at 
which  the  Club  has  dined.  The  Society  had  their  Anniversary 
Dinner  at  Pontack's  celebrated  French  eating-house,  in  Ab- 
church-lane.  City,  until  1746.  Evelyn  notes  :  "30  Nov.  1694. 
Much  importuned  to  take  the  office  of  President  of  the 
Royal  Society,  but  I  again  declined  it.  Sir  Robert  South- 
well was  continued.  We  all  dined  at  Pontac's,  as  usual." 
Here,  in  1699,  Dr.  Bentley  wrote  to  Evelyn,  asking  him  to, 
meet  Sir  Christopher  Wren,  Sir  Robert  Southwell,  and  other 
friends,  at  dinner,  to  consider  the  propriety  of  purchasing 
Bishop  Stillingfleet's  library  for  the  Royal  Society. 

From  Pontack's,  which  was  found  to  be  inconveniently 
situated  for  the  majority  of  the  Fellows,  the  Society  re- 
moved to  the  Devil  Tavern,  near  Temple  Bar. 

The  Minutes  record  that  the  Club  met  at  the  Mitre 
Tavern,  in  Fleet-street,  "  over  against  Fetter-lane,"  from  the 
date  of  their  institution  j  this  house  being  chosen  from  its 
being  handy  to  Crane-cOurt,  where  the  Society  then  met. 
This,  be  it  remembered,  was  not  the  Mitre  Tavern  now 
standing  in  Mitre-court,  but  "the  Mitre  Tavern,  in  Fleet- 
street,"  mentioned  by  Lilly,  in  his  Life,  as  the  place  where 
he  met  old  Will.  Poole,  the  astrologer,  then  living  in  Ram- 
alley.     The  Mitre,  in  Fleet-street,  Mr.  J.  H.    Bum,   in  his 


THE  ROYAL  SOCIETY  CLUB.  59 

excellent  Account  of  the  Beatrfoy  Tokens,  states  to  have  been 
originally  established  by  a  William  Paget,  of  the  Mitre  in 
Cheapside,  who  removed  westward  after  his  house  had  been 
destroyed  m  the  Great  Fire  of  September,  1666.  The 
house  in  Fleet-street  was  lastly  Saunders's  Auction-room, 
No.  39,  and  was  demolished  by  Messrs.  Hoare,  to  enlarge 
the  site  for  their  new  banking-house,  the  western  portion  of 
which  now  occupies  the  tavern  site.  The  now  Mitre,  in 
Mitrecourt,  formerly  Joe's,  is  but  a  recent  assumption  of 
name.* 

In  1780,  the  Club  removed  to  the  Crown  and  Anchor 
Tavern,  in  the  Strand,  where  they  continued  to  dine  for 
sixty-eight  years,  until  that  tavern  was  converted,  in  1848, 
into  a  Club-house.  Then  they  removed  to  the  Freemasons' 
Tavern,  in  Great  Queen  Street ;  but,  in  1857,  on  the  removal 
of  the  Royal  Society  to  Burlington  House,  Piccadilly,  it  was 
considered  advisable  to  keep  the  Club  meetings  at  the 
Thatched  House,  in  St.  James's  Street,  where  they  continued 
until  that  tavern  was  taken  down. 

During  the  early  times,  the  docketings  of  the  Club  ac- 
counts show  that  the  brotherhood  retained  the  title  of  Royal 
Philosophers  to  the  year  1786,  when  it  seems  they  were  only 
designated  the  Royals  ;  but  they  have  now  settled  into  the 
"  Royal  Society  Club."  The  elections  are  always  an  ex- 
citing matter  of  interest,  and  the  fate  of  candidates  is 
occasionally  severe,  for  there  are  various  instances  of  re- 
jections on  two  successive  annual  ballots,  and  some  have 
been  black-balled  even  on  a  third  venture ;  some  of  the 
defeated  might  be  esteemed  for  talent,  yet  were  considered 
unclubbable. 

Some  of  the  entries  in  the  earliest  minute-book  are  very 
curious,  and  show  that  the  Philosophers  did  not  restrict 
themselves  to  "  the  fish  and  pudding  dinner."    Here  is  the 


•  See  Walks  and  Talks  about  London,  p.  246.     The  Mitre  in  Fleet 
street  was  also  the  house  frequented  by  Dr.  Johnson. 


6o  CLUB  LIFE      "^  LONDON. 

bill  of  fare  for  sixteen  persons,  a  few  years  after  the  Club 
was  established :  "  Turkey,  boiled,  and  oysters ;  Calves' 
head,  hashed ;  Chine  of  Mutton ;  Apple  pye ;  2  dishes  of 
herrings  ;  Tongue  and  udder ;  Leg  of  pork  and  pease ; 
S'loin  of  beef  j  Plum  pudding;  butter  and  cheese."  Black 
puddings  are  stated  to  have  figured  for  many  years  at  every 
dinner  of  the  Club. 

The  presents  made  to  the  Club  were  very  numerous,  and 
called  for  special  regvilations.  Thus,  under  the  date  of  May 
3,  1750,  it  is  recorded:  "Resolved  nem.  con.,  That  any 
nobleman  or  gentleman  complimenting  this  company 
annually  with  venison,  not  less  than  a  haunch,  shall,  during 
the  continuance  of  such  annuity,  be  deemed  an  Honorary 
Member,  and  admitted  as  often  as  he  comes,  without  paying 
the  fine,  which  those  Members  do  who  are  elected  by 
ballot."  At  another  Meeting,  in  the  same  year,  a  resolution 
was  passed,  "  That  any  gentleman  complimenting  this 
Society  annually  with  a  Turtle  shall  be  considered  as  an 
Honorary  Member ;"  and  that  the  Treasurer  do  pay  Keeper's 
fees  and  carriage  for  all  venison  sent  to  the  Society,  and 
charge  it  in  his  account.  Thus,  besides  gratuities  to  cooks, 
there  are  numerous  chronicled  entries  of  the  following 
tenour : — "  Keeper's  fees  and  carriage  of  a  buck  from  the 
Hon.  P.  Yorke,  14^-. ;  Fees,  etc.,  for  Venison  and  Salmon, 
j^i.  \^s. ;  Do.,  half  a  Buck  from  the  Earl  of  Hardwick, 
£,1.  5s. ;  Fees  and  carriage  for  a  Buck  from  H.  Read,  Esq., 
;£i.  3 J.  6d. ;  Fees  for  Venison  and  Game  from  Mr.  Banks, 
£1.  gs.  6d;  .  .  .  August  15,  1751.  The  Society  being 
this  day  entertained  with  halfe  a  Bucke  by  the  Most 
Hon""  the  Marquis  of  Rockingham,  it  was  agreed,  fiem.  con., 
to  drink  his  health  in  claret.  Sept.  5th,  1751. — The  Com- 
pany being  entertained  with  a  whole  Bucke  (halfe  of  which 
was  dressed  to-day)  by  Henry  Read,  Esq.,  his  health  was 
drunk  in  claret,  as  usual ;  and  Mr.  Cole  (the  landlord)  was 
desired  to  dispose  of  the  halfe,  and  give  the  Company 
Venisons  instead  of  it  next  Thursday.''    The  following  week 


THE  ROYAL  SOCIETY  CLUB.  6r 

the  largess  is  again  gravely  noticed  :  "The  Company  being 
this  day  regaled  with  the  other  halfe  of  Mr.  Read's  buck 
(which  Mr.  Cole  had  preserved  sweet),  his  health  was  again 
drank  in  claret." 

Turtle  has  already  been  mentioned  among  the  presents. 
In  1784,  the  circumnavigator  Lord  Anson  honoured  the 
Club  by  presenting  the  members  with  a  magnificent  Turtle, 
when  the  Club  drank  his  Lordship's  and  other  turtle  donors' 
healths  in  claret.  On  one  occasion,  it  is  stated  that  the 
usual  dining-room  could  not  be  occupied  on  account  of  a 
turtle  being  dressed  which  weighed  400  lb. ;  and  another 
minute  records  that  a  turtle,  intended  to  be  presented  to  the 
Club,  died  on  its  way  home  from  the  West  Indies. 

James  Watt  has  left  the  following  record  of  one  of  the 
Philosophers'  turtle  feasts,  at  which  he  was  present : — "  When 
I  was  in  London  in  1785,  I  was  received  very  kindly  by 
Mr.  Cavendish  and  Dr.  Blagden,  and  my  old  friend  Smeaton, 
who  has  recovered  his  health,  and  seems  hearty.  I  dined  at 
a  turtle  feast  with  them,  and  the  select  Club  of  the  Royal 
Society ;  and  never  was  turtle  eaten  with  greater  sobriety 
and  temperance,  or  more  good  fellowship." 

The  gift  of  good  old  English  roast-beef  also  occurs  among 
the  presents,  as  in  the  subjoined  minute,  under  the  date  of 
June  27,  1751,  when  Martin  Folkes  presided:  "William 
Hanbury,  Esq.,  having  this  day  entertained  the  company 
with  a  chine  of  Beef  which  was  34  inches  in  length,  and 
weighed  upwards  of  140  pounds,  it  was  agreed,  nem.  con., 
that  two  such  chines  were  equal  to  half  a  Bucke  or  a  Turtle, 
and  entitled  the  Donor  to  be  an  Honorary  Member  of  this 
Society." 

Then  we  have  another  record  of  Mr.  Hanbury's  mu- 
nificence, as  well  as  his  conscientious  regard  for  minuteness 
in  these  matters,  in  this  entry  :  "Mr.  Hanbury  sent  this  day 
another  mighty  chine  of  beef,  and,  having  been  a  little  de- 
ficient with  regard  to  annual  payments  of  chines  of  beef, 
added  three  brace  of  very  large  carp  by  way  of  interest." 


62  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

Shortly  after,  we  find  Lord  Morton  contributing  "  two  pigs 
of  the  China  breed." 

In  addition  to  the  venison,  game,  and  other  viands,  there 
was  no  end  of  presents  of  fruits  for  dessert.  In  1752,  Mr. 
Cole  (the  landlord)  presented  the  company  with  a  ripe 
water-melon  from  Malaga.  In  1753,  there  is  an  entry 
showing  that  some  tusks,  a  rare  and  savoury  fish,  were  sent 
by  the  Earl  of  Morton ;  and  Egyptian  Cos-lettuces  were 
supplied  by  Philip  Miller,  who,  in  his  Gardener's  Dictionary; 
describes  this  as  the  best  and  most  valuable  lettuce  known ; 
next  he  presented  "  four  Cantaloupe  melons,  equal — if  not 
superior — in  flavour  to  pine-apples."  In  July,  1763,  it  is 
chronicled  that  Lord  Morton  sent  two  pine-apples,  cherries 
of  two  sorts,  melons,  gooseberries  of  two  sorts,  apricots,  and 
currants  of  two  sorts. 

However,  this  practice  of  making  presents  got  to  be  un- 
popular with  the  Fellows  at  large,  who  conceived  it  to  be 
undignified  to  receive  such  gifts;  and,  in  1779,  it  was 
"  resolved  that  no  person  in  future  be  admitted  into  the 
Club  in  consequence  of  any  present  he  shall  make  to 
it."  This  singular  custom  had  been  in  force  for  thirty 
years.  The  \z.\z%\.  formal  thanks  for  "  a  very  fine  haunch  of 
venison"  were  voted  to  Lord  Darnley  on  the  17th  of  June, 
1824. 

The  Club  Minutes  show  the  progressive  rise  in  the  charges 
for  dinner.  From  1743  to  1756  the  cost  was  is.  6d.  a  head. 
In  the  latter  year  it  was  resolved  to  give  ^s.  per  head  for 
dinner  and  wine,  the  cominons  for  absentees  to  remain  at 
IS.  6d.,  as  before.  In  1775,  ^^  price  was  increased  to  4^. 
a  head,  including  wine,  and  2d.  to  the  waiter;  in  1801,  to 
Sx.  a  head,  exclusive  of  wine,  the  increased  duties  upon 
which  made  it  necessary  for  the  members  to  contribute  an 
annual  sum  for  the  expense  of  wine,  over  and  above  the 
charge  of  the  tavern  bills. 

In  177s,  the  wine  was  ordered  to  be  laid  in  at  a  price 
not  exceeding  £^s  ^  W9^i  or  ^s-  6^.  a  bottle  j   to  have  a 


7 HE  ROYAL  SOCIETY  CLUB.  63 

particular  seal  upon  the  cork,  and  to  be  charged  by  the 
landlord  at  2s.  6d.  a  bottle.  The  Club  always  dined  on  the 
Society's  meeting-day.  Wray,  writing  of  a  Club-meeting  in 
1776,  says  that,  "after  a  capital  dinner  of  venison,  which 
was  absolutely  perfect,  we  went  to  another  sumptuous 
entertainment,  at  the  Society,  where  five  electrical  eels,  all 
alive,  from  Surinam,  were  exhibited ;  most  of  the  company 
received  the  electrical  stroke ;  and  then  we  were  treated 
with  the  sight  of  a  sucking  alligator,  very  lively." 

It  has  been  more  than  once  remarked  that  a  public  dinner 
of  a  large  party  of  philosophers  and  men  of  science  and 
letters  generally  turns  out  to  be  rather  a  dull  affair ;  perhaps, 
through  the  enibarras  of  talent  at  table.  Not  so,  however, 
the  private  social  Clubs,  the  offshoots  of  Public  Societies, 
like  the  Royal  Society  Club,  and  others  we  could  mention. 
The  Royals  do  not  appear  to  have  been  at  all  indifferent  to 
these  post-prandial  wit-combats.  "  Here,  my  jokes  I  crack 
with  high-born  Peers,"  writes  a  Philosopher,  alluding  to  the 
Club  dinners  ;  and  Admiral  Smyth,  in  his  unpubhshed  Rise 
and  Progress,  tells  us,  that  to  this  day  "it  unites  hilarity,  ahd 
the  macrones  verborum  of  smart  repartee,  with  strictures  on 
science,  literature,  the  fine  arts — and,  indeed,  every  branch 
of  human  knowledge." 

The  administration  of  the  affairs  of  the  Club  was  minutely 
attended  to  :  when,  in  1776,  it  was  considered  necessary  to 
revise  "  the  commons,"  a  committee  was  appointed  for  the 
purpose,  consisting  of  Messrs.  Aubert,  Cuthburt,  Maskelyne, 
Russell,  and  Solander,  who  decided  that  "should  the 
number  of  the  company  exceed  the  number  provided  for, 
the  dinner  should  be  made  up  with  the  beefstakes,  mutton- 
chops,  lamb-chops,  veal-cutlets,  or  pork-stakes,  instead  of 
made  dishes,  or  any  dearer  provisions."  And  "  that  two- 
pence per  head  be  allowed  for  the  waiter  {which  seems  to 
have  hem  the  regtilar  gratuity  for  many  years).  Then,  the 
General  Committee  had  to  report  that  the  landlord  was  to 
charge  for  gentlemen's  servants,  "one  shilling  each  for  dinner 


64  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

and  a  pot  of  porter ;"  and  "  that  when  toasted  cheese  was 
called  for,  he  was  to  make  a  charge  for  it." 

In  1784,  the  celebrated  geologist,  Faujas  da  Saint-Fond 
(Barthdlemy),  with  four  other  distinguished  foreigners, 
partook  of  the  hospitality  of  the  Club,  of  which,  in  1797, 
M.  Faujas  pubHshed  an  account.  "  He  mentions  the  short 
prayer  or  grace  with  which  Dr.  Maskelyne  blessed  the  com- 
pany and  the  food — the  solid  meats  and  unseasoned  vege- 
tables— the  quantities  of  strong  beer  called  porter,  drank 
out  of  cylindrical  pewter  pots  d'u7i  seul  trait — the  cheese  to 
provoke  the  thirst  of  drinkers — the  hob-a-nobbing  of  healths — 
and  the  detestable  coffee.  On  the  whole,  however,  this  honest 
Frenchman  seems  to  have  been  delighted  with  the  entertain- 
ment, or,  as  he  styles  it,  'the  convivial  and  unassuming 
banquet,'"  and  M.  Faujas  had  to  pay  "seven  livres  four  sols" 
for  his  commons.  Among  the  lighter  incidents  is  the  record 
of  M.  Aubert  having  received  a  present  from  the  King  of 
Poland,  begged  to  have  an  opportunity  of  drinking  His 
Majesty's  health,  and  permission  to  order  a  bottle  of 
Hermitage,  which  being  granted,  the  health  was  drank  by 
the  company  present ;  and  upon  one  of  the  Club-slips  of 
1798,  after  a  dinner  of  twenty-two,  is  written,  "Seven  shil- 
lings found  under  the  table." 

The  dinner-charges  appear  to  have  gradually  progressed 
from  \s.  6d.  to  ioj.  per  head.  In  1858-9  the  Club-dinners  had 
been  25,  and  the  number  of  diners  309,  so  that  the  mean  was 
equal  to  12-36  for  each  meeting,  the  visitors  amounting  to  49; 
and  it  is  further  computed,  that  the  average  wine  per  head 
of  late,  waste  included,  is  a  considerable  fraction  less  than  a 
pint,  imperial  standard  measure,  in  the  year's  consumption. 

Among  the  distinguished  guests  of  the  Club  are  many 
celebrities.  Here  the  chivalrous  Sir  Sidney  Smith  described 
the  atrocities  of  Djezza  Pasha  j  and  here  that  cheerful 
baronet — ^Admiral  Sir  Isaac  Coffin — by  relating  the  result 
of  his  going  in  a  jolly-boat  to  attack  a  whale,  and  in  narra- 
tina:  the  advantages  specified  in  his  proposed   patent  for 


THE  ROYAL  SOCIETY  CLUB.  65 

fattening  fowls,  kept  "  the  table  in  a  roar."  At  this  board, 
also,  our  famous  circumnavigators  and  oriental  voyagers 
met  with  countenance  and  fellowship — as  Cook,  Fumeaujt, 
Gierke,  King,  Bounty  Bligh,  Vancouver,  Guardian  Rioil, 
Flinders,  Broughton,  Lestock,  Wilson,  Huddart,  BasS, 
Tuckey,  Horsburgh,  &c. ;  while  the  Polar  explorers,  from 
the  Hon.  Constantine  Phipps,  in  1773,  down  to  Sir  Leopold 
M'Clintock,ini86o,  were  severally  and  individually  welcomed 
as  guests.  But,  besides  our  sterling  sea-worthies,  we  find  in 
ranging  through  the  documents  that  some  rather  outlandish 
visitors  were  introduced  through  their  means,  as  Chet  Quang 
and  Wanga  Tong,  Chinese;  Ejutak  and  Tuklivina,  Esqui- 
maux; Thayen-danega,  the  Mohawk  chief;  while  Omai,  of 
Ulareta,  the  celebrated  and  popular  savage,  of  CooKs  Voyages, 
was  so  frequently  invited,  that  he  is  latterly  entered  on  the 
Club  papers  simply  as  Mr.  Omai." 

The  redoubtable  Sir  John  Hill  dined  at  the  Club  in  com- 
pany with  Lord  Baltimore  on  the  30th  of  June,  1748.  Hill 
was  consecutively  an  apothecary,  actor,  playwright,  novelist, 
botanist,  journalist,  and  physician ;  and  he  published  upon 
trees  and  flowers,  Betty  Canning,  gems,  naval  history,  religion, 
cookery,  and  what  not.  Having  made  an  attempt  to  enter 
the  Royal  Society,  and  finding  the  door  closed  against  him, — 
perhaps  a  pert  vivacity  at  the  very  dinner  in  question  sealed 
the  rejection, — ^he  revenged  himself  by  publishing  an  impu- 
dent quarto  volume,  vindictively  satirizing  the  Society. 

Ned  Ward,  in  his  humorous  Account  of  the  Clubs  of 
London,  published  in  1709,  describes  "the  Virtuoso's  Club 
as  first  established  by  some  of  the  principal  members  of  the 
Royal  Society,  and  held  every  Thursday,  at  a  certain  Tavern 
in  Comhill,  where  the  Vintner  that  kept  it  has,  according  to 
his  merit,  made  a  fortunate  step  from  his  Bar  to  his  Coach. 
The  chief  design  of  the  aforementioned  Club  was  to  propa- 
gate new  whims,  advance  mechanical  exercises,  and  to  pro- 
mote useless  as  well  as  useful  experiments."  There  is  humour 
in  this,  as  well  as  in  his  ridicule  of  the  Barometer  :  "  by  this 

F 


.66  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

notable  invention,"  he  .says,  "our  gentlemen  and  ladies  of 
the  middle  quality  are  infallibly  told  when  it's  a  right  season 
to  put  on  their  best  clothes,  and  when  they  ought  not-to 
venture  an  intrigue  in  the  fields  without  their  cloaks  and 
unibrellas."  His  ridicule  of  turning  salt  water  into  fresh, 
finding  a  new  star,  a,ssigning  reasons  for  a  spot  in  the  moon, 
and  a' "wry  step"  in  the  sun's  progress,  were  Ward's  points^ 
laughed  at  in  his  time,  but  afterwards  established  as  facts. 
There  have  been  greater  mistakes  made  since  Ward's  time ; 
but  this  does  not  cleanse  him  of  filth  and  foulness. 

Ward's  record  is  evidence  of  the  existence  of  the  Royal 
Society  Club,  in  1709,  before  the  date  of  the  Minutes.  'Dr. 
Hutton,  too,  records  the  designation  of  Halley's  Glub — 
undoubted  testimony;  about  1737,  he;  Halley,  though  seized 
with  paralysis,  once  a  week,  within  a  very  short  time  of  his 
death,  met  his  friends  in  town,  on  Thursdays,  the  day  of  the 
Royal  Society's  ^meeting,  at  ■"  Dr.  Halley's  Club."  Upon  this 
evidence  Admiral  Smyth  establishes  the  claim  that  the  Royal 
Society  Club  was  actually  established  by  a  zealous  philso- 
pher,  "  who  was  at  once  proudly  eminent  as  an  astronomer, 
a  mathematician,  a  physiologist,  a  naturahst,  a  scholar,  an 
antiquary,  a  poet,  a  meteorologist,  a  geographer,  a  navi- 
gator,-a  nsiutical  surveyor,  and  a  truly  social  member- of  the 
community — in  a  word,  our  founder  was  the  illustrious 
Halley — the  Admirable  Crichton  of  science." 

A  memorable  dinner-party  took  place  on  August  the  nth, 
1859,  when  among  the  visitors  was  Mr.  Thomas  Maclear 
(now  Sir  Thomas),  the  Astronomer-Royal  at  the  Cape- of 
Gooci  Hope,  who  had  just  anived  in  England  from  r; the 
southern  hemisphere,  after  an  absence  of  a  quarter  of  a 
century.  "On  this  day,  were  present,  so  to  speak;  the 
representa,tives  of  the  three  great  applications  by  which  the 
present  age  is  distinguished,  namely,  of  Railuuays,  Mr. 
.  Stephenson ;,  of  the  Electric  Telegraph,  Mr.  Wheatstone:; 
and  of  the  Hentiy  Fast,  Mr.  Rowland  Hill — an  assemblage 
never  ae;ain  to,  occur."..  {Adntiral  Smyth's  History  of  the  Club.) 


THE  ROYAL  SOCIETY  CL UB.  6f 

Among  thef  anecdotes  which  float  about,  it  iS  related  that 
the  eccentric  Hon.  Henry  Cavendish,  "the' Chib-Croesus," 
attended  the  metetings  with  only  money  enough  in  his  pocket 
to  pay  for  his  dinner,  and  that  he  may  hkye  dechned  taking 
tavern-soup,  may  have  picked  his  teeth  with  a  fork,  may 
invariably  have  hung  his  hat  oil  the  same  peg,  and  may  have 
always  stuck  his  cane  in  his  right  boot ;  but' more  apocryphal 
is  the  anecdote  that  one  evening  Cavendish  observed  a  very 
pretty  girl  iodking  out  froni  an  upper  window  on  the  opposite 
side  of  the  street,  watching  the  philosophers  at  dihner.  She 
attracted  notice,  and  one  by  one  they  got  up  and  mustered 
round  the  window  to  admire  the  fair  one.  Cavendish,  who 
thought  they  Were  looking  at  the  moon,  bustled  up  to  them ' 
in  his  odd  way,  and  when  he  saw  the  real  object  of  their 
study,  turned  ■  away  with  intense  disgust,  and  grunted  out 
"  Pshaw  j"  the  amorous  conduct  of  his  brother  Philosophers 
having  horrified  the  woma.n-hating  Cavendish.  '  ' 

Another  assertion  is  that  he,  Cavendish,  left  a  thumping' 
le^cy  to  Lord  Bessboiough,  in  gratitude  for  his  Lordship's 
piqiiant  conversation  at  the  Club  ;  but  no  such  reasoh  can  be 
found  in  the  Will  lodged  at  Doctors'  Commons'.  The 
Testator  named  therein  three'  of  his'  Club-mates,  namel}', 
Alexander  Dalrymple,  to  receive  Spop/.,  Dr.  Hunter,  5000/., 
and  Sir  Charles  Blagd6n  (coadjutor  in  the  Water  question), 
15,000/.  After  certain  other  bequests,  the  will  proceeds,— 
"  The  remainder  of  the  funds  (nearly  700,005/.)  to  be 
di-vided,  one-sixth  to  the  .Earl  of  Bessborough,' while  the 
cousin.  Lord  George  Henry  Cavendish,  had  two-sixths, 
instead  of  one;"  "it  is  therefore,"  says  Admiral  Smyth, 
"  patent  that  the  mbney  thus  passed  over  from  uncle  to 
nephew,  was  a  mere  consequence  of  relationship,  aiid  not  at 
all  owing  to  any  flowers  or  powers  of  conversation  at  the 
Royal  Society  Club," 

Admiral  Smyth,  to  whose  SiAmiraMQ  J»-ids  of  the  History 
of  the  Club  we' have  to  make  acknov/ledgement,  remarks 
that  the  hospitality  of  the'-  Royal  Society  has   been    "  of 

F  a 


68  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

material  utility  to  the  well-working  of  the  whole  machine 
which  wisdom  called  up,  at  a  time  when  knowledge  was 
quitting  scholastic  niceties  for  the  truths  of  experimental 
philosophy.  This  is  proved  by  the  number  of  men  of 
note — both  in  ability  and  station — ^who  have  there  congre- 
gated previously  to  repairing  to  the  evening  meeting  of  the 
body  at  large;  and  many  a  qualified  person  who  went 
thither  a  guest  has  returned  a  candidate.  Besides  inviting 
our  own  princes,  dukes,  marquises,  earls,  ministers  of  state, 
and  nobles  of  all  grades  to  the  table,  numerous  foreign 
grandees,  prelates,  ambassadors,  and  persons  of  distinction — 
from  the  King  of  Poland  and  Baron  Munchausen,  down  to 
the  smart  little  abbd  and  a  'gentleman  unknown' — ^are 
found  upon  the  Club  records.  Not  that  the  amenities  of 
the  fraternity  were  confined  to  these  classes,  or  that,  in  the 
Clubbian  sense,  they  form  the  most  important  order ;  for 
bishops,  deans,  archdeacons,  and  clergymen  in  general — 
astronomers — ^mathematicians — sailors — soldiers — engineers 
— medical  practitioners — poets — artists — travellers — ^musi- 
cians— opticians — men  of  repute  in  every  acquirement, 
were,  and  ever  will  be,  welcome  guests.  In  a  word, 
t:he  names  and  callings  of  the  visitors  offer  a  type  of  the 
philosophical  discordia  concors ;  and  among  those  guests 
possessed  of  that  knowledge  without  which  genius  is  almost 
useless,  we  find  in  goodly  array  such  choice  names  as 
Benjamin  Franklin,  Sir  Joshua  Reynolds,  Gibbon,  Costard, 
Bryant,  Dalton,  Watt,  Bolton,  Tennant,  Wedgwood,  Abys- 
sinian Bruce,  Attwood,  Boswell,  Brinkley,  Rigaud,  Brydone, 
Ivory,  Jenner,  John  Hunter,  Brunei,  Lysons,  Weston, 
Cramer,  Kippis,  Westmacott,  Corbould,  Sir  Thomas  Law- 
rence, Turner,  De  La  Beche,  et  hoc  genus  omne." 

The  President  of  the  Royal  Society  is  elected  President  of 
the  Club.  There  were  always  more  candidates  for  admission 
than  vacancies,  a  circumstance  which  had  some  influence  in 
leading  to  the  formation  of  a  new  Club,  in  1847,  composed 
of  eminent  Fellows  of  the  Society.     The  name  of  this  new 


THE  COCOA-TREE  CLUB.  69 

Association  is  "  the  Philosophical  Club,"  and  its  object  is 
"  to  promote,  as  much  as  possible,  the  scientific  objects  of 
the  Royal  Society,  to  facilitate  intercourse  between  those 
Fellows  who  are  actively  engaged  in  cultivating  the  various 
branches  of  Natural  Science,  and  who  have  contributed  to 
its  progress;  to  increase  the  attendance  at  the  Evening 
Meetings,  and  to  encourage  the  contribution  and  the  dis- 
cussion of  papers."  Nor  are  the  dinners  forgotten;  the 
price  of  each  not  to  exceed  ten  shillings. 

The  statistical  portion  of  the  Annual  Statement  of  i86o,f 
shows  that  the  number  of  dinners  for  the  past  year  amounted 
to  25,  at  which  the  attendance  was  312  persons,  62  o 
whom  were  visitors,  the  average  being  =  1 2  -48  each  time  : 
and  the  Treasurer  called  attention  to  the  fact  that  out  of 
the  Club  funds  in  the  last  twelvemonth,  they  had  paid  not 
less  than  9/.  (>s.  for  soda  and  seltzer  water ;  8/.  2 j.  i>d.  for 
cards  of  invitation  and  postage;  and  25/.  for  visitors,  that 
is,  8j.  o|^.  per  head. 

The  Cocoa-Tree  Club. 

This  noted  Club  was  the  Tory  Chocolate-house  of  Queen 
Anne's  reign ;  the  Whig  Coffee-house  was  the  St.  James's, 
lower  down,  in  the  same  street,  St.  James's.  The  party 
distinction  is  thus  defined  : — "  A  Whig  will  no  more  go  to 
the  Cocoa-tree  or  Ozinda's,  than  a  Tory  will  be  seen  at  the 
■coffee-house  of  St.  James's." 

The  Cocoa-tree  Chocolate-house  was  converted  into  a 
Club,  probably  before  1746,  when  the  house  was  the  head- 
quarters of  the  Jacobite  party  in  Parliament.  It  is  thus 
referred  to  in  the  above  year  by  Horace  Walpole,  in  a 
letter  to  George  Montagu :— "  The  Duke  has  given  Brigadier 
Mordaunt  the  Pretender's  coach,  on  condition  he  rode  up 
to  London  in  it.  '  That  I  will,  sir,'  said  he,  '  and  drive  till 
it  stops  of  its  own  accord  at  the  Cocoa-tree.' " 
■     Gibbon  was  a  member  of  this   Club,  and  has  left  this 


70  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

entry  in  his  journal  of  1762  : — ^^"Nov.  24.  I  dined  at  the 
Cocoa  Tree  with*  *  *,  who,  under  a  great  appearance  of 
oddity,  conceals  more  real  humour,  good  sense,  and  even 
knowledge,  than  half  those  who  laugh  at  him.:  We  went 
thence  to  the  play  {The  Spanish  Friar)  ;  and  when  it  was 
.  over,  retired  to  the  Cocoa-tree.  That  respectable  body,  of 
which  I  have  the  honour  of  being  a  member,  affords  every 
evening  a  sight  truly  English.  Twenty  or  thirty,  perhaps, 
of  the  first  men  in  the  kingdom  in  point  of  fashion  and 
fortune  supping  at  little  tables  covered  with  a  nalpkin,  in  the 
middle  of  a  coffee-room,  upon  a  bit  of  cold  meat,  or  a 
sandwich,  and  drinking  a  glass  of  punch.  At  present  we 
are  full  of  King's  counsellors  and  lords  of  the  bedchamber ; 
'v\ho,  having  jumped  into  the  ministry,  make  a  very  singular 
medley  of  their  old  principles  and  language  with  their 
modern  ones."  At  this  time,  bribery  was  in  full  swing  :  it  is 
alleged  that  the  lowest  bribe  for  a  vote  upon  the  Peace  of 
Fontainebleau,  was  a  bank-note  of  200/. ;  and  that  the 
Secretary  of  the  Treasury  afterwards  acknowledged  25,000/. 
to  have  been  thus  expended  in  a  single  morning.  And  in 
1765,  on  the  debate  in  the  Commons  on  the  Regency  Bill, 
we  read  in  the  Chatham  Correspondence :  "  The  Cocoa-tree 
have  thus  capacitated  Her  Royal  Highness  (the  Princess  of 
Wales)  to  be  Regent :  it  is  well  they  have  not  given-  us 
a  King,  if  they  have  not ;  for  many  think,  Lord  Bute  is 
King." 

Although  the  Cocoa-tree,  in  its  conversion  from ,  a 
Chocolate-house  to  a  Club,  may  have  bettered  its  reputation 
in  some  respects,  high  play,  if  not  foul  play,  was  known 
there  twenty  years  later.  Walpole,  writing  to  Mann,  Feb.  6, 
1 780,  says  :  '  Within  this  week  there  has  been  a  cast  at 
hazard  at  the  Cocoa-tree,  (in  St.  James's  Street,)  the  differ- 
ence of  which  amounted  to  one  hundred  and  fourscore 
thousand  pounds.  Mr.  O'Birne,  an  Irish  gamester,  had  won 
one  hundred  thousand  pounds  of  a  young  Mr.  Harvey  of 
Chigwell,  just  started  into  an  estate  by  his  elder,,  brother's 


ALMACK'S  ClUB.  fi 

dfeath.  O'Bliliesiid,  "You  can  never  pay  me."  "I  can," 
said  the  youth':  "my  estate  will 'sell  for  the  debt."  '"  No," 
said  O. :  "  I  will  win  ten  thousand— you  shall  throw  foi'  the 
odd  ninety."^    They  did,  and  Harvey  won." 

The  C&coa-iree  was  one  of  the^  Clubs  to  wHich' Lord 
Byron  belonged. 

Almack's  Club. 

Almack's,  the  original  Brookes's,  on  the  south  side  of  the 
Whig  Club-house,  was  established  in  Pall  Mall,  on  the  site 
of  the  British  Institution,  in  1764,  by  twenty-Seven  notilem^n 
and  ge'ntlehifen,  including  the  Duke  of  Rdxbilrghe,  the  Duke 
of  Portland,  the  Earl  of  Strathmore,  Mr.  Crewe  (afterwards 
Lord  Crewe),  and  Mr.  C.  J.  Fox. 

Mr.  Cunningham  was  perniitted  to  inspect  the  original 
Rules  of  the  Cliib,  which  show  its  nature  ;  here  are  "a  fevV.  " 

"21.  No  gaming  in  the  eating-room,  except  tossing  up 
for  reckonings,  on  penalty  of  paying  the  whole  bill  of  the 
members  present. 

"  22.  Dinner  shall  be  served  up  exactly  at  half-past  four 
o'dock,  and  the  bill  shall  be  brought  in  at  s'even. 

"26.  Almack  shall  sell  no  wines  in  bottles  that  the  Club 
approves  of,  out  of  the  house.  .   i- 

"  30.  Any  member  of  this  Society  that  shall  become  a 
candidate  for  any  other  Club,  (Old  White's  excepted,)  shall 
be  ipso  facto  excluded,  and  his  name  struck  out  of  the 
book. 

"40.  That  every  person  playing  at  the  new  guinea  table 
do  keep  fifty  guineas  before  him. 

"41.  That  every  person  playing  at  the  twenty  guinea  table 
do  not  keep:  less  than  twenty  guineas  before  him." 

That  the  play  ran  high  may  be  inferred  from  a  note  against 
the  name  of  Mr.  Thynne,  in  the  Club-books:  "  Mr.  Thynne 
having  won  only  1 2,000  guineas  during  the  last  two  months, 
retired  in  disgust,  March  2ist,  1772." 

Some    of   its  members   were    Maccaronis,    the  "curled 


72  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

darlings  "  of  the  day :  they  were  so  called  from  their  affecta- 
tion of  foreign  tastes  and  fashions,  and  were  celebrated  for 
their  long  curls  and  eye-glasses.  Much  of  the  deep  play 
was  removed  here.  "The  gaming  at  Almack's,"  writes 
Walpole  to  Mann,  February  2,  1770,  "which  has  taken  the 
fas  of  White's,  is  worthy  the  decline  of  our  empire,  or  com- 
monwealth, which  you  please.  The  young  men  of  the  age 
lose  ten,  fifteen,  twenty  thousand  pounds  in  an  evening 
there.  Lord  Stavordale,  not  one-and-twenty,  lost  11,000/. 
there  last  Tuesday,  but  recovered  it  by  one  great  hand  at 
hazard.  He  swore  a  great  oath,  '  Now,  if  I  had  been  play- 
ing deep,  I  might  have  won  millions.'  His  cousin,  Charles 
Fox,  shines  equally  there,  and  in  the  House  of  Commons. 
He  was  twenty-one  yesterday  se'nnight,  and  is  already  one 
of  our  best  speakers.  Yesterday  he  was  made  a  Lprd  of 
the  Admiralty."  Gibbon,  the  historian,  was  also  a  member, 
and  he  dates  several  letters  from  here.  On  June  24,  1776, 
he  writes  :  "  Town  grows  empty,  and  this  house,  where  I 
have  passed  many  agreeable  hours,  is  the  only  place  which 
still  invites  the  flower  of  the  English  youth.  The  style  of 
living,  though  somewhat  expensive,  is  exceedingly  pleasant ; 
and,  notwithstanding  the  rage  of  play,  I  have  found  more 
entertainment  and  rational  society  than  in  any  other  club  to 
which  I  belong." 

The  play  was  certainly  high — only  for  rouleaus  of  50/. 
each,  and  generally  there  was  10,000/.  in  specie  on  the  table. 
The  gamesters  began  by  pulling  off  their  embroidered 
clothes,  and  put  on  frieze  greatcoats,  or  turned  their 
coats  inside  outwards  for  luck.  They  put  on  pieces  of 
leather  (such  as  are  worn  by  footmen  when  they  clean  the 
knives)  to  save  their  laced  rufiSes ;  and  to  guard  their  eyes 
from  the  light,  and  to  prevent  tumbling  their  hair,  wore  high- 
crowned  straw  hats  with  broad  brims,  and  adorned  with 
flowers  and  ribbons  ;  masks  to  conceal  their  emotions  when 
they  played  at  quinz.     Each  gamester  had  a  small  neat 


ALMA  CK'S  ASSEMBL  Y  ROOMS.  73 

Stand  by  him,  to  hold  his  tea ;  or  a  wooden  bowl  with  an 
edge  of  ormolu,  to  hold  the  rouleaus. 

Almack's  was  subsequently  Goosetree's.  In  the  year 
1780,  Pitt  was  then  an  habitual  frequenter,  and  here  his 
personal  adherents  mustered  strongly.  The  members,  we 
are  told  in  the  Life  of  Wilberforce,  were  about  twenty-five  in 
number,  and  included  Pratt  (afterwards  Lord  Camden), 
Lords  Euston,  Chatham,  Graham,  Duncannon,  Althorp, 
Apsley,  G.  Cavendish,  and  Lennox;  Messrs.  Eliot,  Sir 
Andrew  St.  John,  Bridgeman  (afterwards  Lord  Bradford), 
Morris  Robinson  (afterwards  Lord  Rokeby),  R.  Smith 
(afterwards  Lord  Carrington),  W.  Grenville  (afterwards  Lord 
Grenville),_  Pepper  Arden  (afterwards  Lord  Alvanley),  Mr. 
Edwards,  Mr.  Marsham,  Mr.  Pitt,  Mr.  Wilberforce,  Mr. 
Bankes,  Mr.  Thomas  Steele,  General  Smith,  Mr.  Windham. 

In  the  gambling  at  Goosetree's,  Pitt  played  with  charac- 
teristic and  intense  eagerness.  When  Wilberforce  came  up 
to  London  in  1780,  after  his  return  to  Parliament,  his  great 
success  coloured  his  entry  into  public  life,  and  he  was  at 
once  elected  a  member  of  the  leading  clubs — Miles's  and 
Evans's,  Brookes's  and  Boodle's,  White's  and  Goosetree's. 
The  latter  was  Wilberforce's  usual  resort,  where  his  friend- 
ship with  Pitt,  whom  he  had  slightly  known  at  Cambridge, 
greatly  increased :  he  once  lost  100/.  at  the  faro-table,  and 
on  another  night  kept  the  bank,  by  which  he  won  600/. ; 
but  he  soon  became  weaned  from  play. 

Almack's  Assembly  Rooms. 

In  the  year  following  the  opening  of  Almack's  Club  in 
Pall  Mall,  Almack  had  built  for  him  by  Robert  Mylne,  the 
suite  of  Assembly  Rooms,  in  King-street,  St.  James's, 
which  was  named  after  him,  "  Almack's,"  and  was  occasion- 
ally called  "Willis's  Room's,"  after  the  next  proprietor. 
Almack  likewise  kept  the  Thatched  House  Tavern,  in  St. 
James's-street 


74  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

■  ^Alifiack'S  was  Op'efied  Feb.-  20, 1765,  and  was  advertised  to 
have  been  built  with  hot  bricks  and  boiling  water :  the  ceilings 
were  dripping  with  wet ;  but  the  Duke  of  Cumberland,  the 
Hero  of  CuUoden,  was  there.  Gilly  Williams,  a  few  days  after 
the  opening,  in  abetter  to  George  Selwyn,  >vrites  :  "  There  is 
now  opened  at  Almack's,  in  three  very  elegant  new-built 
rooms,  a  ten-guinea  subscription,  for  which  you  have  a  ball 
and  supper  once  a  week,  for  twelve  weeks.  You  may  imagine 
by  the  sum  the  company  is  chosen ;  though,  refined  as  it  is,  it 
will  be  scarce  able  to  put  out  old  Soho  (Mrs.  Comeleys)  out  of 
countenance!  The  men's  tickets  are  not  transferable,  so,  if 
the  ladies  do  not  like  us,  they  have  no  oppoirtUhity  of  changing 
us,  but  must  see  the  same  persons  for  ever."  ..."  Our 
female  Almack's  flourishes  beyond  description.  Almack's 
Scotch  face,  in  a  bag-wig,  waiting  at  supper,  would  divert 
you,  as  would  his  lady,  in  a  sack,  making  tea  and  curtseying 
to  the  duchesses." 

Five  years  later,  in  1770,  Walpole  writes  to  Montagu: 
■"  There  is  a  new  Institution  that  begins  to  make,  and  if  it 
proceeds,  will  make  a  considerable  noise.  It  is  a  Club  of 
both  sexes,  to  be  erected  at  Almack's,  on  the  model  of  that 
of  the  men  of  White's.  Mrs.  Fitzroy,  Lady  Pembroke,  Mrs. 
Meynell,  Lady  Molyneux,  Miss  Pelham,  and  Miss  Lloyd, 
are  the  foundresses.  I  am  ashamed  to  say  I  am  of  so 
young  and  fashionable  society ;  but  as  they  are  people  I  live 
with,  I  choose  to  be  idle  rather  than  morose.  I  can  go  to 
a  young  supper  without  forgetting  how  much  sand  is  run  out 
of  the  hour-glass." 

Mrs.  Boscawen  tells  Mrs.  Delany  of  this  Club  of  lords  and 
ladies  who  first  met  at  a  tavern,  but  subsequently,  to  satisfy 
Lady  Pembroke's  scruples,  in  a  room  at  Almack's.  "  The 
ladies  nominate  and  choose  the  gentlemen  and-wV^  versA,  so 
that  no  lady  can  exclude  a  lady,  or  gentleman  a  gentletnan." 
Ladies  Rochford,  Harrington,  and  Holderness  were  black-i 
balled,  as  was  the  Duchess  of  Bedford,  who  was  subsequently 
admitted  !     Lord  March  and  Brook  Boothby  were  black. 


ALMA  CK  'S  ASSEMBL  Y  ROOMS.  73 

balled-  by  the  ladies,  ^  to  their  great  astonishment.  There 
was  a  dinner*'-  then  supper  at  eleven,  and,  says  Mrs. 
Boscawen,  "play  will  be  deep  and  constant,  probably." 
The  frenzy  for  play  was  then  at  its  height.  "Nothing 
within  my  memory  comes  up  to  it  1"  exclaims  Mrs.  Delany, 
who  attributes  it  to  the  prevailing  "avarice  and  extraga- 
^'ance."  Some  men  made  profit  out  of  it,  like  Mr.  Thyrine. 
"who  has  won  this  year  so  considerably  that  he  has  paid  off 
all  his  debts,  bought  a  house  and  furnished  it,  disposed  of 
his  horses,  hounds,  etc.,  and  struck  his  name  out  of  all 
expensive  subscriptions.  But  what  a  horrid  r^ection'w.  must 
be  to  an  honest  mind  to  build  his  fortune  on  the  ruin  of 
others." 

Almack's  large  ball-room  is  about  one  hundred  feet  in 
length,  by  forty  feet  in  width ;  it  is  chastely  decorated  with 
gilt  columns  and  pilasters,  classic  medallions,  mirrors,  etc., 
and  is  lit  with  gas,  in  cut-glass  lustres.  The  largest  number 
of  persons  ever  present  in  this  room  atone  ball  was  1700. 

The  rooms  are  let  for  public  meetings,  dramatic  readings, 
concerts,  balls,  and  occasionally  for  dinners.  Here  Mrs. 
Billington,  Mr.  Braham,  and  Signer  Naldi,  gave  concerts, 
from  1808  to  18 10,  in  rivalry  with  Madame  Catalan!,  at 
Hanover-square  Rooms ;  and  here  Mr.  Charles  Kemble 
gave,  in  1844,  his  Readings  from  Shakspeare. 

The  Balls  at  Almack's  are  managed  by  a  Committee  of 
Ladies  of  high  rank,  and  the  only  mode  of  admission  is  by 
vouchers  or  personal  introduction. 

Almack's  has  declined  of  late  years ;  "  a  clear  proof  that 
the  palmy  days  of  exclusiveness  are  gone  by  in  England; 
and  though  it  is  obviously  impossible  to  prevent  any  given 
number  of  persons  from  congregating  and  re-establishing 
an  oligarchy,  we  are  quite  sure  that  the  attempt  would  be 
ineffectual,  and  that  the  sense  of  their  importance  would 
extend  little  beyond  the  set."*     In    1831   was   published 


*  Quart ei'ly  Review ^  1840; 


■?6  .       CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

AlmacMs,  a  novel,  in  which  the  leaders  of  fashion  were 
sketched  with  much  freedom,  and  identified  in  A  Key  to 
AlmacKs,  by  Benjamin  Disraeli. 

Brookes's  Club. 

We  have  just  narrated  the  establishment  of  this  Club — 
how  it  was  originally  a  gaming  club,  and  was  farmed  at  first 
by  Almack.  It  was  subsequently  taken  by  Brookes,  a  wine- 
merchant  and  money-lender,  according  to  Selwyn ;  and  who 
is  described  by  Tickell,  in  a  copy  of  verses  addressed  to 
Sheridan,  when  Charles  James  Fox  was  to  give  a  supper  at 
his  own  lodgings,  then  near  the  Club  : — 

Derby  shall  send,  if  not  his  plate,  his  cooks, 

And  know,  I've  brought  the  best  champagne  from  Brookes, 

From  liberal  Brookes,  whose  speculative  skill 

Is  hasty  credit  and  a  distant  bill ; 

Who,  nursed  in  clubs,  disdains  a  vulgar  trade, 

Exults  to  trust,  and  blushes  to  be  paid. 

From  Pall  Mall  Brookes's  Club  removed  to  No.  60,  on 
the  west  side  of  St.  James's-street,  where  a  handsome  house 
was  built  at  Brookes's  expense,  from  the  designs  of  Henry 
Holland,  the  architect ;  it  was  opened  in  October,  1778. 
The  concern  did  not  prosper ;  for  James  Hare  writes  to 
George  Selwyn,  May  18,  1779,  "we  are  all  beggars  at 
Brookes's,  and  he  threatens  to  leave  the  house,  as  it  yields 
him  no  profit."  Mr.  Cunningham  tells  us  that  Brookes 
retired  from  the  Club  soon  after  it  was  built,  and  died  poor 
about  the  year  1782. 

Lord  Crewe,  one  of  the  founders  of  the  Club  in  Pall  Mall, 
died  in  1829,  after  sixty-five  years' membership  of  Brookes's. 
Among  its  celebrities  were  Burke  and  Sir  Joshua  Reynolds, 
Garrick  and  Hume,  Horace  Walpole,  Gibbon,  and  Sheridan 
and  Wilberforce.  Lord  March,  afterwards  Duke  of  Queens- 
berry,  was  one  of  its  notorieties — "  the  old  Q.,  whom  many 
now  living  can  remember,  with  his  fixed  eye  and  cadaverous 


BROOKES'S  CLUB.  >ji 

fe.ce,  watching  the  flow  of  the  human  tide  past  his  bow- 
window  in  Pall  M.a\\."—Mitional  Review,  1857.  [This  is 
hardly  correct  as  to  locality,  smce  the  Club  left  Pall  Mall  in 
1778,  and  a  reminiscent  must  be  more  than  80  years  of  age.] 
Among  Selwyn's  correspondents  are  Gilly  Williams,  Hare, 
Fitzpatrick,  the  Townshends,  Burgoyne,  Storer,  and  Lord 
Carhsle.  R.  Tickell,  in  "Lines  from  the  Hon.  Charles 
Fox  to  the  Hon.  John  Townshend  cruising,"  thus  describes 
the  welcome  that  awaits  Townshend,  and  the  gay  life  of  the 
Club  :— 

Soon  as  to  Brookes's  thence  thy  footsteps  bend, 
What  gratulations  thy  approach  attend  ! 
See  Gibbon  tap  his  box ;  auspicious  sign, 
That  classic  compliment  and  evil  combine. 
See  Beauclerk's  cheek  a  tinge  of  red  surprise, 
And  friendship  gives  what  cruel  health  denies. 
Important  Townshend  !  what  can  thee  witlistand  ? 
The  ling'ring  blackball  lags  in  Boothby's  hand. 
E'en  Draper  checks  the  sentimental  sigh ; 
And  Smith,  without  an  oath  suspends  the  die. 

Mr.  Wilberforce  has  thus  recorded  his  first  appearance 
at  Brookes's :  "  Hardly  knowing  any  one,  I  joined,  from 
mere  shyness,  in  play  at  the  faro-tables,  where  George 
Selwyn  kept  bank.  A  friend,  who  knew  my  inexperience, 
and  regarded  me  as  a  victim  decked  out  for  sacrifice,  called 
to  me,  'What,  Wilberforce,  is  that  you?'  Selwyn  quite 
resented  the  interference,  and,  turning  to  him,  said,  in  his  most 
expressive  tone,  '  Oh,  Sir,  don't  interrupt  Mr.  Wilberforce ; 
he  could  not  be  better  employed  !'  " 

The  Prince  of  Wales,  one  day  at  Brookes's,  expatiating 
on  that  beautiful  but  far-fetched  idea  of  Dr.  Darwin's,  that 
the  reason  of  the  bosom  of  a  beautiful  woman  being  the 
object  of  such  exquisite  delight  for  a  man  to  look  upon, 
arises  from  the  first  pleasurable  sensations  of  warmth, 
sustenance,  and  repose,  which  he  derives  therefrom  in  his 
infancy ;  Sheridan  replied,  "  Truly  hath  it  been  said,  that 
there  is  only  one  step  from  the  sublime  to  the  ridiculous. 


j;S  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

All  children  who  are  brought  up  by  hand  must  derive  their 
pleasurable  sensations  from  a  very  different  source ;  yet  I 
believe  no  one  ever  heard  of  any  such,  when  arrived  at 
manhood,  evincing  any  very  rapturous  Or  amatory  emotions 
at  the  sight  of  a  wooden  spoon."  This  clever  exposure  of  an 
ingenious  absurditity  shows  the  folly  of  taking  for  granted 
every  opinion  w^hich  may  be  broached  under  the  sanction  of 
a  popular  name. 

The  conversation  at  Brookes's,  one '  day,  turning  on  Lord 
Henry  Petty's  projected  tax  upon  iron,  one  member  said, 
that  as  there  was  so  much  opposition  to  it,  it  would  be 
better  to  raise  the  proposed  sum  upon  coals.  "  Hold  !  my 
dear  fellow,"  said  Sheridan,  "  that  would  be  out  of  the  frying 
pan  into  the  fire,  with  a  vengeance." 

Mr.  Whitbread,  one  evening  at  Brookes's,  talked  loudly 
and  largely  against  the  Ministers  for  laying  what  was  called 
the  war  tax  upon  malt :  every  one  present  concurred  with 
him  in  opinion,  but  Sheridan  could  not  resist  the  gratifica- 
tion of  a  hit  at  the  brewer  himself.  He  wrote  with  his 
pencil  upon  the  back  of  a  letter  the  following  lines,  which  he 
handed  to  Mr.  Whitbread,  across  the  table  : — 

They've  raised  the  price  of  table  drink  ; 
What  is  the  reason,  do  you  think  ? 
The  tax  on  malt's  the  cause  I  hear — 
But  what  has  malt  to  do  with  beer  ?" 

Looking  through  a  Number  of  the  Quarterly  Review,  one 
day,  at  Brookes's,  soon  after  its  first  appearance,  Sheridan 
said,  in  reply  to  a  gentleman  who  observed  that  the  editor, 
Mr.  Gifford,  had  boasted  of  the  power  of  conferring  and 
distributing  literary  reputation :  "  Very  likely ;  and  in  the 
present  instance  I  think  he  has  done  it  so  profusely  as  to 
have  left  none  for  himself." 

Sir  Philip  Francis  was  the  convivial  companion  of  Fox, 
and  during  the  short  administration  of  that  statesman  was 
made  a  Knight  of  the  Bath.   One  evening,  Roger  Wilbfaham 


BROOKES' S  CLUB.  79 

came  up  to  a  whist-table  at  Brookes's,  where  Sk  PhiUp,  who 
for  the  first  time  wore  the  ribbon  of  the  Order,  was  engaged 
in  a  rubber,  and  thus  accosted  him.  Laying  hold  of  the 
ribbon  and  examining  it  for  some  time,  he  said  :  "So,  this 
is  the  way  they  have  rewarded  you  at  last :  they  have '  given 
you  a  little  bit  of  red  ribbpn  for  your  services.  Sir  Philip, 
have  they  ?  A  pretty  bit  of  red  ribbon  to  hang  about  your 
neckj  and  that  satisfies  you,  does  it?  Now,  I  wonder 
what  I  shall  have. — ^What  do  you  think  they  will  give  me 
Sir  Philip  ?" 

The  newly-made  Knight,  who  had  twenty-five  guineas 
depending  on  the  rubber,  and  who  was  not  very  well 
pleased  at  the  interruption,  suddenly  turned  round,  and 
looking  at  him  fiercely,  exclaimed,  "  A  halter,  and  be  d^ — d 
to  you ! " 

•  George  III.,  invariably  evinced  a  strong  aversion  to 
Fox,  the  secret  of  which  it  is  easy  to  understand.  His 
son,  the  Prince  of  Wales,  threw  himself  into  the  arms  of 
Fox,  and  this  in  the  most  undisguised  manner.  Fox 
lodged  in  St.  James's-street,  and  as  soon  as  he  rose,  which 
was  very  late,  had  a  levee  of  his  followers,  and  of  the 
members  of  the  gaming  club,  at  Brookes's,  all  his  disci- 
ples. His  bristly  black  person,  and  shagged  breast  quite 
open,  and  rarely  purified  by  any  ablutions,  was  wrapped 
in  a  foul  linen  night-gown,  and  his  bushy  hair  dishevelled. 
In  these  cynic  weeds,  and  with  epicurean  good-humour 
did  he  dictate  his  politics,  and  in  this  school  did  the  heir  of 
the  Crown  attend  his  lessons,  and  imbibe  them. 

..  Fox's. ,  love  pf  play  was  desperate.  A  few  evenings 
before  he  moved  the  repeal  of  the  Marriage  Act;  in  Feb- 
ruary, 1772,  he  had  been  at  Brompton  on  two  errands: 
one  -to  consult 'Justice  Fielding  on  the  penal  laws;  the 
other  to.borrow  ten  thousand  pounds,  which  he  brought 
to  town  at  the  hazard  of  being  robbed.  Fox  played  admi- 
rably .  both,  at  whist  and  ■  piquet ;  with  such  skill,  'indeed, 
that    by   the  general    admission    of    Brookes's    Club,  he 


So  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

might  have  made  four  thousand  pounds  a-year,  as  they 
calculated,  at  those  games,  if  he  could  have  confined 
himself  to  them.  But  his  misfortune  arose  from  playing 
games  at  chance,  particularly  at  Faro.  After  eating  and 
drinking  plentifully,  he  sat  down  to  the  Faro  table,  and 
inevitably  rose  a  loser.  Once,  indeed,  and  once  only,  he 
won  about  eight  thousand  pounds  in  the  course  of  a 
single  evening.  Part  of  the  money  he  paid  away  to  his  cre- 
ditors, and  the  remainder  he  lost  almost  immediately. 
Before  he  attained  his  thirtieth  year,  he  had  completely 
dissipated  everything  that  he  could  either  command,  or 
could  procure  by  the  most  ruinous  expedients.  He  had 
even  undergone,  at  times,  many  of  the  severest  privations 
annexed  to  the  vicissitudes  that  mark  a  gamester's  progress ; 
frequently  wanting  money  to  defray  the  common  daily 
wants  of  the  most  pressing  nature.  Topham  Beauclerc, 
who  lived  much  in  Fox's  society,  affirmed,  that  no  man 
could  form  an  idea  of  the  extremities  to  which  he  had  been 
driven  in  order  to  raise  money,  after  losing  his  last  guinea 
at  the  Faro  table.  He  was  reduced  for  successive  days 
to  such  distress,  as  to  borrow  money  from  the  waiters  of 
Brookes's.  The  very  chairmen,  whom  he  was  unable  to 
pay,  used  to  dun  him  for  their  arrears.  In  1781,  he 
might  be  considered  as  an  extinct  volcano,  for  the  pecu- 
niary aliment  that  had  fed  the  flame  was  long  consumed. 
Yet  he  then  occupied  a  house  or  lodgings  in  St.  James's- 
street  close  to  Brookes's,  where  he  passed  almost  every 
hour  which  was  not  devoted  to  the  House  of  Commons. 
Brookes's  was  then  the  rallying  point  or  rendezvous  of  the 
Opposition ;  where,  whUe  faro,  whist,  and  supper  prolonged 
the  night,  the  principal  members  of  the  Minority  in  both 
Houses  met,  in  order  to  compare  their  information,  or  to 
concert  and  mature  their  parliamentary  measures.  Great 
sums  were  then  borrowed  of  Jews  at  exorbitant  premiums. 
Fox  called  his  outward  room,  where  the  Jews  waited  till  he 
rose,  the  yeruscUem   Chamber.     His  brother  Stephen  was 


White's  Club,  St.  James's  Street.     (Tory.) 
{The Modern  Building  by  Wyatt,  1851.) 


Brookes'  (Whig)  and  White's  (Tory)  Clubs,  1796. 
{Tlie  Ariisfs  perspective  is  slightly  faulty.) 


BROOKESS  CLUB.  8i 

enormously  fat]  George  Selwyn  said  he  was  in  the  right  to 
deal  with  Shylocks,  as  he  could  give  them  pounds  of  flesh. 

When  Fox  lodged  with  his  friend  Fitzpatrick,  at  Mackie's, 
some  one  remarked  that  two  such  inmates  would  be  the 
ruin  of  Mackie,  the  oilman  ;  "  No,"  said  George  Selwyn ; 
"so  far  from  ruining  him,  they  will  make  poor  Mackie's 
fortune  J  for  he  will  have  the  credit  of  having  the  finest 
pickles  in  London." 

The  ruling  passion  of  Fox  was  partly  owing  to  the  lax 
training  of  his  father,  who,  by  his  lavish  allowances,  fos- 
tered his  propensity  for  play.  According  to  Chesterfield, 
the  first  Lord  Holland  "  had  no  fixed  principles  in  religion 
or  morality,"  and  he  censures  him  to  his  son  for  being  "  too 
unwary  in  ridiculing  and  exposing  them."  He  gave  full 
swing  to  Charles  in  his  youth  :  "  let  nothing  be  d9ne,"  said 
his  Lordship,  "  to  break  his  spirit ;  the  world  will  do  that  for 
him."  {Selwyn.)  At  his  death,  in  1774,  he  left  him 
154,000/.  to  pay  his  debts ;  it  was  all  bespoke,  and  Fox 
soon  became  as  deeply  pledged  as  before. 

Walpole,  in  1 78 1,  walking  up  St.  James's-street,  saw  a  cart 
and  porters  at  Fox's  door ;  with  copper  and  an  old  chest 
of  drawers,  loading.  His  success  at  faro  had  awakened 
a  host  of  creditors ;  but,  unless  his  bank  had  swelled 
to  the  size  of  the  Bank  of  England,  it  could  not  have 
yielded  a  sou  apiece  for  each.  Epsom,  too,  had  been 
unpropitious ;  and  one  creditor  had  actually  seized  and 
caried  oS  Fox's  goods,  which  did  not  seem  worth  removing. 
Yet  shortly  after  this,  whom  should  Walpole  find  saun- 
tering by  his  own  door  but  Fox,  who  came  up  and  talked 
to  him  at  the  coach-window,  on  the  Marriage  Bill,  with 
as  much  sang  froid  as  if  he  knew  nothing  of  what  had 
happened. 

It  was  at  the  sale  of  Fox's  library  in  this  year  that 
Walpole  made  the  following  singular  note  : — "lySt,  June 
20.  Sold  by  auction,  the  library  of  Charles  Fox,  which 
had  been  taken   in   execution.     Amongst  the  books  was 


82  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON: 

Mr.  Gibbon's  first  volume  of  'Roman  History,'  which 
appeared,  by  the  title-page,  to  have  been  given  by  the 
author  to  .Mr.,.  Fox,  who  had  written  in  it  the  following 
anecdote: — 'The  author  at  Brookes's  said  there  was  no 
salvation  for  the  country  till  six  heads  of  the  principal 
persons  in  the  administration  were  laid  on  the  table ; 
eleven,  days  later,  the  same  gentleman  accepted  the  place 
of  Lord  of  Trade  under  those  very  ministers,  and  ha,s 
acted  with  them  ever  since!'  Such  was  the  avidity. of 
bidders  for  the  smallest  production  of  so  wonderful  a 
genius,  that  by  the,  addition  of  this  httle  record,  the  book 
sold  for  three  guineas." 

Lord  Tankerville  assured  Mr.  Rogers  that  Fox  once 
played  cards  with  Fitzpatrick  at  Brookes's  from  ten  o'clock 
at  night  till  near  six  o'clock  the  next  afternoon,  a  waiter 
standing  by  to  tell  them  "  whose  deal  it  was,"  they  being 
too  sleepy  to  know.  Fox  once  -yvon  about  eight  thousand 
pounds ;  and  one  of  his  bond-creditors,  who  soon  heard  of 
his  good  luck,  presented  himself,  and  asked  for  payment, 
"  Impossible,  Sir,"  replied  Fox ;  "  I  must  first  discharge 
my  debts  of  honour."  The  bond-creditor  remonstrated. 
"  Well,  Sir,  give  me  your  bond."  It  was  delivered  to  Fox, 
who  tore  it  in  pieces,  and  threw  them  into  the  fire.  "  ,Now, 
Sir,"  said  Fox,  "my  debt  to  you  is  a  debt  of  honour;"  and 
immediately  paid  him. 

Amidst  the  ,  wildest  excesses  of  youth,  even  wWle  the 
perpetual  victim  of  his  passion  for  play,  Fox  eagerly  culti- 
vated at  intervals  his  taste  for  letters,  especially  the  Greek 
and  Roman  historians  and  poets ;  and  he  found  resources 
in  their  works,  under  the  most  severe  depressions  occa- 
sioned by  ill-success  at  the  gaming-table.  One  morning, 
after  Fox  had  passed  the  whole  night  in  company  with 
Topham  Beauclerc  at  faro,  the  two  friends  were  about  to 
separate.  Fox  had,  lost  throughout  the  night,  and  was  in  a 
frame  of  mind  approaching  desperation.  Beauclerc's  an- 
xiety for  the  consequences  which  might  ensue  led  him  to  be 


BROOICES'S  CLUB.  S3 

early  at  Fox's  lodgings ;  and  on  arriving,  lie  inquired,  not 
without  apprehension,  whether  he  had  risen.  The  servant 
replied  that  Mr.  Fox  was  in  the  dr'awihg-room,  When  Beau- 
clerc  walked  upstairs,  and  cautiously  opened  the  door, 
expecting  to  behold  a  frantic  gamester  stretched  on  the 
floor,  bewailing  his  losses,  or  -plunged  in  moody  despair ; 
but  he  was  astonished  to  find  him  reading  a  Greek  Hero- 
dotus. "  What  would  you  have  me  do  ? "  said  Fox,  "I  have 
lost  my  last  shilling,"  Upon  other  occasions,  after  staking 
and  losing  all  that  he  could  raise  at  faro,  infetead  of  ex- 
claiming against  fortune,  or  manifesting  the  agitation 
natural  under  such  circumstances,  he  would  lay  his  head  on 
the  table,  and  retain  his  place,  but  exhausted  by  mental 
and  bodily  fatigue,  almost  immediately  fall  into  a  profound 
sleep!  •  .       .  ,. 

One  night,  at  Brookes's,  Fox  made  sonle  rettiark  on 
Government  powder,  in  allusion  to  something  that  had 
happened.  Adams  considered  it  a  reflection,  and  sent  Fox 
a  challenge.  FOx  wdnt  out,  and  took  his  station,  giving  a 
full  front.  Fitzgerald  said,  "You  iftust  stand  sideways." 
Fox  said,  "Why  I  am  as-  thick  one  way  as  the  nther." — 
"  Fire,"  was  given :  Adams  fired,  Fox  did  not,  and  when 
they  said  he  must,  he  said,  "  I'll  be  d-^d  if  I  do.  I  have 
-no  qiiarrel."  They  then  advanced  to  shake  hands'.  Fox 
said,  "  Adams,  you'd  have  killed  ■  me  if  it  had  not  been 
Government  powder."  The  ball  hit  him  in  the  groin. 
-  Another  celebrated  character;  who  frequented  Brookes's 
in  the  days  of  Selwyn,  was  Dunning,  afi:erwards  Lord  Ash- 
burton  ;  and  many  keen  encounters  passed  between  themi. 
Dunning  was  a  short,  thick  man,  with  a  turn- up  nose,  a 
■constant  shake  of  the  head,  and  latterly  a  distressing  hectic 
cough — but  a  wit  of  the  first  water.  Though  he  died  at  the 
comparatively' early  age  of  fifty-two,- he  amassed 'a  fortune  of 
'150,000/.  during  twenty-five  years' practice  at  the  bar;  and 
lived  -notwithstanding,  so  liberally,  that  his  mother,  an 
attorney's  widow,  some  of  the  wags  at  Brookes's  wickedly 
G  a 


84  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

recorded,  left  him  in  dudgeon  on  the  score  of  his  extrava- 
gance, as  humorously  sketched  at  a  dinner  at  the  lawyer's 
country-house  near  Fulham,  when  the  following  conversation 
was  represented  to  have  occurred  : — 

"  John,"  said  the  old  lady  to  her  son,  after  dinner,  during 
which  she  had  been  astounded  by  the  profusion  of  the  plate 
and  viands, — "  John,  I  shall  not  stop  another  day  to  witness 
such  shameful  extravagance." 

"  But,  my  dear  mother,"  interrupted  Dunning,  "  you  ought 

to  consider  that  I  can  afford  it :  my  income,  you  know " 

"No  income,"  said  the  old  lady  impatiently,  "can  stand 
such  shameful  prodigality.  The  sum  which  your  cook  told 
me  that  very  iurbot  cost,  ought  to  have  supported  any 
reasonable  family  for  a  week." 

"  Pooh,  pooh  !  my  dear  mother,"  replied  the  dutiful  son, 
"  you  would  not  have  me  appear  shabby.  Besides,  what  is 
a  turbot  ?" 

"  Pooh,  pooh  !  what  is  a  turbot  ?"  echoed  the  irritated 
dame :  "  don't  pooh  me,  John  :  I  tell  you  such  goings-on 
can  come  to  no  good,  and  you'll  see  the  end  of  it  before 
long.  However,  it  sha'n't  be  said  your  mother  encouraged 
such  sinful  waste,  for  I'll  set  off  in  the  coach  to  Devonshire 
to-morrow  morning." 

"  And  notwithstanding,"  said  Sheridan,  "  all  John's  rhe- 
torical efforts  to  detain  her,  the  old  lady  kept  her  word." 

Sheridan's  election  as  a  member  of  Brookes's  took  place 
under  conflicting  circumstances.  His  success  at  Stafford 
met  with  fewer  obstacles  than  he  had  to  encounter  in  St. 
James's-street,  where  Selwyn's  political  aversions  and 
personal  jealousy  were  very  formidable,  as  were  those  of 
the  Earl  of  Bessborough,  and  they  and  other  members  of 
the  Club  had  determined  to  exclude  Sheridan.  Conscious 
that  every  exertion  would  be  made  to  ensure  his  success, 
they  agreed  not  to  absent  themselves  during  the  time  allowed 
by  the  regulations  of  the  Club  for  ballots ;  and  as  one  black 
ball  sufficed  to  extinguish  the  hopes  of  a  candidate,  they 


BROOKES'S  CLUB.  8s 

repeatedly  prevented  his  election.  In  order  to  remove  so 
serious  an  impediment,  Sheridan  had  recourse  to  artifice. 
On  the  evening  when  it  was  resolved  to  put  him  up,  he 
found  his  two  inveterate  enemies  posted  as  usual.  A  chair- 
man was  then  sent  with  a  note,  written  in  the  name  of  her 
father-in-law.  Lord  Bessborough,  acquainting  him  that  a  fire 
had  broken  out  in  his  house  in  Cavendish  Square,  and 
entreating  him  immediately  to  return  home.  Unsuspicious 
of  any  trick,  as  his  son  and  daughter-in-law  lived  under  his 
roof.  Lord  Bessborough  unhesitatingly  quitted  the  room, 
and  got  into  a  sedan-chair.  Selwyn,  who  resided  not  far 
from  Brookes's  in  Cleveland-row,  received,  nearly  at  the 
same  time,  a  verbal  message  to  request  his  presence,  in 
consequence  of  Miss  Fagniani,  (whom  he  had  adopted  as 
his  daughter,)  being  suddenly  seized  with  alarming  indis- 
position. This  summons  he  obeyed ;  and  no  sooner  was 
the  room  cleared,  than  Sheridan  being  proposed  a  member, 
a  ballot  took  place,  when  he  was  immediately  chosen.  Lord 
Bessborough  and  Selwyn  returned  without  delay,  on  dis- 
covering the  imposition  that  had  been  practised  on  their 
credulity,  but  they  were  too  late  to  prevent  its  effects. 

Such  is  the  story  told  by  Selwyn,  in  his  Memoirs;  but  the 
following  account  is  more  generally  accredited.  The  Prince 
of  Wales  joined  Brookes's  Club,  to  have  more  frequent  inter- 
course with  Mr.  Fox,  one  of  its  earliest  members,  and  who, 
on  his  first  acquaintance  with  Sheridan,  became  anxious  for 
his  admission  to  the  Club.  Sheridan  was  three  times  pro- 
posed, but  as  often  had  the  back  ball  in  the  ballot,  which 
disqualified  him.  At  length,  the  hostile  ball  was  traced  to 
George  Selwyn,  who  objected,  because  his  (Sheridan's)  father 
had  been  upon  the  stage.  Sheridan  was  apprised  of  this, 
and  desired  that  his  name  might  be  put  up  again,  and  that 
the  further  conduct  of  the  matter  might  be  left  to  himself. 
Accordingly,  on  the  evening  when  he  was  to  be  balloted  for, 
Sheridan  arrived  at  Brookes's  arm-in-arm  with  the  Prince  of 
Wales,  just  ten  minutes  before  the  balloting  began.     They 


85  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

were  shown  into  the  candidates'  waiting-room,  when  one  of 
the  dub-waiters  was  ordered  to  tell  Mr.  Selwyn  that  the 
Prince  desired  to  speak  with  him  immediately.  Selwyn 
obeyed  the  summons,  and  Sheridan,  to  whom  this  version  of 
the  affair  states,  Sheridan  had  no  personal  dislike,  enter- 
tained him  for  half-an-hour  with  some  political  story,  which 
interested  him  very  much,  but  had  no  foundation  in  truth. 
During  Selwyn's  absence,  the  ballO;ting  went  on,  and  Sheridan 
was  chosen ;  and  the  result  was  announced  to  himself  and 
the  Prince  by  the  waiter,  with  the  preconcerted  signal  of 
stroking  his  chin  with  his  hand.  Sheridan  immediately  rose 
from  his  seat,  and  apologizing  for  a  few  minutes'  absence, 
told  Selwyn  that  "  the  Prince  would  finish  the  narrative,  the 
catastrophe  of  which  he  would  find  very  remarkable." 

.Sheridan  now  went  upstairs,  was  introduced  to  the  Club, 
and  was  soon  in  all  his  glory. .  The  Prince,  in  the  mean- 
time, had  not  the  least  idea  of  being  left  to  conclude  a 
story,  the  thread  of  which  (if  it  had  a  thread)  he  had 
entirely  forgotten.  Still,  by  means  of  Selwyn's  occasional 
assistance,  the  Prince  got  on  pretty  well  for  a  few  minutes 
when  a  question  from  the  listener  as  to  the  flat  contra- 
diction of  a  part  of  His  Royal  Highness'  story  to  that 
of  Sheridan,  completely  posed  the  narrator,  andjie  stuck 
fast.  After  much  floundering,  the  Prince  burst  into  a  loud 
laugh,  saying,  "  D — n  the  fellow,  to  leave  me  to  finish  the 
infernal  story,  of  which  I  know  as  much  as  a  child  unborn  1 
But,  never  mind,.  Selwyn;  as  Sheridan  does  not  seem 
inclined  to  come  back,  let  me  go  upstairs,  and  I  dare  say 
Fox  or  some  of  them  will  be  able  to  tell  you  all  about  it." 
They  adjourned  to  the  club-room,  and  Selwyn  now  detected 
the  manoeuvre.  Sheridan  then  rose,  made  a  low  bow,  and 
apologized  to  Selwyn,  through  his  dropping  into  such  good 
company,  adding,  "They  have  just  been  making  me  a 
member,  without  even  one  Mack  ball,  and  here  I  am." 
"  The  devil  they  have  !"  exclaimed  Selwyn. — "  Facts  speak 
for  themselves,"  said  Sheridan  j  "and  I  thank  you  for  your 


"  FIGHTING  FITZGERALD  "  A  T  BROOKES' S.         87 

friendly  suffrage  3  and  now,  if  you  will  sit  down  by  us,  I 
will  finish  my  story." — "  Your  story !  it  is  all  a  lie  from 
beginning  to  end,"  exclaimed  Selwyn,  amidst  loud  laughter 
from  all  parts  of  the  room. 

Among  the  members  who  indulged  in  high  play  was 
Alderman  Combe,  who  is  said  to  have  made  as  much  money 
in  this  way  as  he  did  by  brewing.  One  evening,  whilst  he 
filled  the  office  of  Lord  Mayor,  he  was  busy  at  a  full  hazard 
table  at  Brookes's,  where  the  wit  and  the  dice-box  circulated 
together  with  great  glee,  and  where  Beau  Brammell  was  one 
of  the  party.  "Come,  Mashtub,"  said  Brummell,  who  was 
the  caster,  "what  do  you  set?' — "Twenty-five  guineas," 
answered  the  Alderman. — "  Well,  then,"  returned  the  Beau, 
"  have  at  the  mare's  pony  "  (25  guineas).  He  continued  to 
throw  until  he  drove  home  the  brewer's  twelve  ponies, 
running ;  and  then,  getting  up,  and  making  him  a  low  bow, 
whilst  pocketing  the  cash,  he  said,  "Thank  you,  alderman  ; 
for  the  future,  I  shall  never  drink  any  porter  but  yours." — 
"  I  wish,  Sir,"  repUed  the  brewer,  "  that  every  other  black- 
guard in  London  would  tell  me  the  same." 

"  Fighting  Fitzgerald  "  at  Brookes's. 

This  notorious  person,  George  Robert  Fitzgerald,  though 
nearly  related  to  one  of  the  first  families  in  Ireland  (Leinster), 
was  executed  in  1786,  for  a  murder  which  he  had  coolly 
premeditated,  and  had  perpetrated  in  a  most  cruel  and 
cowardly  manner. 

His  duelling  propensities  had  kept  him  out  of  all  the  first 
Clubs  in  London.  He  once  applied  to  Admiral  Keith 
Stewart  to  propose  him  as  a  candidate  for  Brookes's ;  when  the 
Admiral,  knowing  that  he  must  either  fight  or  comply  with  his 
request,  chose  the  latter.  Accordingly,  on  the  night  when 
the  ballot  was  to  take  place  (which  was  only  a  mere  form  in 
this  case,  for  even  Keith  Stewart  had  resolved  to  black  ball 
him),  the  duellist  accompanied  the  Admiral  to  St.  James's- 


88  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

street,  and  waited  in  the  room  below,  while  the  ballot  was 
taken.  This  was  soon  done ;  for,  without  hesitation,  each 
member  threw  in  a  black  ball;  and  when  the  scrutiny  came, 
the  company  were  not  a  little  amazed  to  find  not  even  mie 
white  ball  among  the  number.  However,  the  rejection 
being  carried  mm.  con.,  the  question  was,  which  of  the 
members  had  the  hardihood  to  announce  the  result  to  the 
expectant  candidate.  No  one  would  undertake  the  office, 
for  the  announcement  was  thought  sure  to  produce  a 
challenge ;  and  a  duel  with  Fitzgerald  had,  in  most  cases, 
been  fatal  to  his  opponent.  The  general  opinion  was  that 
the  proposer.  Admiral  Stewart,  should  convey  the  intelli- 
gence. "  No,  gentlemen,"  said  he,  "  I  proposed  the  fellow 
because  I  knew  you  would  not  admit  him ;  but,  by  Jove, 
I  have  no  inclination  to  risk  my  life  against  that  of  a 
madman." 

"  But,  Admiral,"  replied  the  Duke  of  Devonshire,*  "  there 
being  no  white  ball  in  the  box,  he  must  know  that  you  have 
black-balled  him  as  well  as  the  rest,  and  he  is  sure  to  call 
you  out  at  all  events." 

This  posed  the  Admiral,  who,  after  some  hesitation, 
proposed  that  the  waiter  should  tell  Fitzgerald  that  there  was 
me  black  ball,  and  that  his  name  must  be  put  up  again  if  he 
wished  it.  All  concurred  in  the  propriety  of  this  plan,  and 
the  waiter  was  despatched  on  the  mission.  In  the  mean- 
time, Fitzgerald  had  frequently  rung  the  bell  to  inquire  "  the 
state  of  the  poll,"  and  had  sent  each  waiter  to  ascertain,  but 
neither  durst  return,  when  Mr.  Brookes  took  the  message 
from  the  waiter  who  was  descending  the  staircase,  and 
boldly  entered  the  room,  with  a  coffee  equipage  in  his  hand. 
"  Did  you  call  for  coffee.  Sir  ?"  said  Mr.  Brookes,  smartly. 
"  D — n  your  coffee,  Sir !  and  you  too,"  answered  Mr. 
Fitzgerald,  in  a  voice  which  made  the  host's  blood  run  cold. 


*  This,  was  the  bon-vivant  Duke  who  had  got  ready  for  him  every 
night,  for  supper,  at  Brookes's,  a  broiled  blade-bone  of  mutton. 


"FIGHTm  G  FITZGERALD  "AT  BROOKES  S.         89 

"  I  want  to  know,  Sir,  and  that  without  one  moment's  delay, 
Sir,  if  I  am  chose  yet  ?" 

"  Oh,  Sir !"  replied  Mr.  Brookes,  attempting  to  smile 
away  the  appearance  of  fear,  "  I  beg  your  pardon,  Sir,  "but  I 
was  just  coming  to  announce  to  you.  Sir,  with  Admiral 
Stewart's  compliments,  Sir,  that  unfortunately  there  was  one 
black  ball  in  the  box.  Sir ;  and  consequently,  by  the  rules  of 
the  Club,  Sir,  no  candidate  can  be  admitted  without  a  new 
election,  Sir; — which  cannot  take  place,  by  the  standing 
regulations  of  the  Club,  Sir,  until  one  month  from  this  time, 
Sir." 

During  this  address,  Fitzgerald's  irascibility  appeared  to 
undergo  considerable  mollification ;  and  at  its  close,  he 
grasped  Brooke's  hand,  saying,  "  My  dear  Brookes,  Pm 
chose ;  but  there  must  be  a  small  matter  of  mistake  in  my 
election :"  he  then  persuaded  Brookes  to  go  upstairs,  and 
make  his  compliments  to  the  gentlemen,  and  say,  as  it  was 
only  a  mistake  of  one  black  ball,  they  would  be  so  good  as 
to  waive  all  ceremony  on  his  account,  and  proceed  to  re-elect 
their  humble  servant  without  any  more  delay  at  all."  Many 
of  the  members  were  panic-struck,  forseeing  a  disagreeable 
finale  to  the  farce  which  they  had  been  playing.  Mr. 
Brookes  stood  silent,  waiting  for  the  answer.  At  length,  the 
Earl  of  March,  (afterwards  Duke  of  Queensberry)  said 
aloud  "  Try  the  efiect  of  two  balls  :  d — n  his  Irish  impu- 
dence, if  two  balls  don't  take  effect  upon  him,  I  don't  know 
what  will."  This  proposition  was  agreed  to,  and  Brookes 
was  ordered  to  communicate  the  same. 

On  re-entering  the  waiting-room,  Mr.  Fitzgerald  eagerly 
inquired,  "  Have  they  elected  me  right,  now,  Mr.  Brookes  ?" 
the  reply  was,  '-Sorry  to  inform  you  that  the  result  of  the 
second  balloting  is— that  two  black  balls  were  dropped. 
Sir." — "Then,"  exclaimed  Fitzgerald,  "there's  now  two 
mistakes  instead  of  one."  He  then  persuaded  Brookes 
again  to  proceed  upstairs,  and  tell  the  honourable  members 
to    "  try  again,  and  make  no  more  mistakes."     General 


go  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

Fitzpatrick  proposed  that  Brookes  should  reply,  "His 
cause  was  all  hopeless,  for  that  he  was  black-balled  all  mier, 
from  head  to  foot,  and  it  was  hoped  by  all  the  members  that 
Mr.  Fitzgerald  would  not  persist  in  thrusting  himself  into 
society  where  his  company  was  declined."  This  message 
was  of  no  avail :  no  sooner  had  Fitzgerald  heard  it  than  he 
exclaimed ;  "OTi,  I  perceive  it  is  a  mistake  altogether,  Mr. 
Brookes,  and  I  must  see  to  the  rectifying  of  it  myself,  there's 
nothing  like  dating  with  principals ;  so,  I'll  step  up  at  once, 
and  put  this  thing  to  rights,  without  any  more  unnecessary 
delay.'' 

In  spite  of  Mr.  Brookes's  remonstrance,  that  his  entrance 
into  the  Club-room  was  against  all  rule  and  etiquette; 
Fitzgerald  flew  upstairs,  and  entered  the  room  without  any 
further  ceremony  than  a  bow,  saying  to  the  members,  who 
indignantly  rose  at  the  intrusion,  "Your  servant,  gentlemen — 
I  beg  ye  will  be  sated." 

Walking  up  to  the  fireplace,  he  thus  addressed  Admiral 
Stewart : — "  So,  my  dear  Admiral,  Mr.  Brookes  informs  me 
that  I  have  been  elected  three  times." 

"  You  have  been  balloted  for,  Mr.  Fitzgerald,  but  I  am 
sorry  to  say  you  have  not  been  chosen,"  said  Stewart. 

"Well,  then,"  replied  the  duellist,  " Aid  you  black  ball 
me  ?" — "  My  good  Sir,"  answered  the  Admiral,  "  how  could 
you  suppose  such  a  thing  ?" — "  Oh,  I  sup-posed  no  such  things 
my  dear  fellow  j  I  only  want  to  know  who  it  was  that 
dropped  the  black  balls  in  by  accident,  as  it  were  !" 

Fitzgerald  now  went  up  to  each  individual  member,  and 
put  the  same  question  seriatim,  "Did  you  black-ball  me, 
Sir?"  until  he  made  the  round  of  the  whole  Club;  and  in 
each  case  he  received  a  reply  similar  to  that  of  the  Admiral. 
When  he  had  finished  his  inquisition,  he  thus  addressed  the 
whole  body :  "  You  see,  Gentlemen,  that  as  none  of  ye  have 
black-balled  me,  /  must  be  chose;  and  it  is  Mr.  Brookes  that 
has  made  the  mistake.  But  I  was  convinced  of  it  from  the 
beginning,  and  I  am  only  sorry  that  so  much  time  has  been 


ARTHUiaS  CLUB.  91 

lost  as  to  prevent  honourable  gentlemen  from  enjoying  each 
other's  company  sooner."  .  He  then  desired  the  waiter  to 
bring  him  a  bottle  of  champagne,  that  he  might  drink  long 
life  to  the  Club,  and  wish  them  joy  of  their  unanimous 
election  of  a  rael  gentleman  by  father  and  mother,  and  who 
never  missed  his  man." 

The  members  now  saw  that  there  was  nothing  to  be  done 
but  to  send  the  intruder  to  Coventry,  which  they  appeared 
to  do  by  tacit  agreement ;  for  when  Admiral  Stewart  de- 
parted, Mr.  Fitzgerald  found  himself  cut  by  all  his  "  dear 
friends."  The  members  now  formed  parties  at  the  whist- 
table  ;  and  no  one  replied  to  Fitzgerald's  observations  nor 
returned  even  a  nod  to  the  toasts  and  healths  which  he 
drank  in  three  bottles  of  champagne,  which  the  terrified 
waiter  placed  before  him,  in  succession.  At  length,  he 
arose,  made  a  low  bow,  and  took  leave,  promising  to  "come 
earlier  next  night,  and  have  a  little  more  of  it."  It  was  then 
agreed  that  half-a-dozen  stout  constables  should  be  in 
waiting  the  next  evening  to  bear  him  off  to  the  watch-house, 
if  he  attempted  again'tb  intrude.  Of  this  measure,  Fitzgerald 
seemed  to  be  aware ;  for  he  never  again  showed  himself  at 
Brookes's ;  though  he  boasted  everywhere  that  he  had  been 
unanimously  chosen  a  member  of  the  Club. 

Arthur's  Club. 

This  Club,  established  more  than  a  century  since,  at 
No.  69,  St.  James's-street,  derives  its  name  from  Mr.  Arthur, 

'  the  master  of  White's  Chocolate-house  in  the  same  street. 

,  Mr.  Cunningham  records :  "Arthur  died  in  June,  1761,  in 
St.  James's-place  j  and  in  the  following  October,  Mr. 
Mackreth  married  Arthur's  only  child,  and  Arthur's 
Chocolate-house,  as  it  was  then  called,  became  the  property 
of  this  Mr.  Mackreth." 

Walpole,  writing  in  1759,  has  this  odd  note:  "I  stared 
to-day  at  Piccadilly  like  a  country  squire ;  there  are  twenty 


92  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

new  stone  houses :  at  first  I  concluded  that  all  the  grooms 
that  used  to  live  there,  had  got  estates  and  built  palaces. 
One  young  gentleman,  who  was  getting  an  estate,  but  was 
so  indiscreet  as  to  step  out  of  his  waj;  to  rob  a  comrade,  is 
convicted,  and  to  be  transported ;  in  short,  one  of  the 
waiters  at  Arthur's.  George  Selwyn  says,  '  What  a  horrid 
idea  he  will  give  us  of  the  people  in  Newgate  !' " 

Mackreth  prospered ;  for  Walpole,  writing  to  Mann,  in 
1774,  speaking  of  the  New  Parliament,  says:  "Bob,  formerly 
a  waiter  at  White's,  was  set  up  by  my  nephew  for  two 
boroughs,  and  actually  is  returned  for  Castle  Rising  with 
Mr.  Wedderbume ; 

'  Servus  curru  portatur  eodem ;' 

which  I  suppose  will  offend  the  Scottish  Consul,  as  most  of 
his  countrymen  resent  an  Irishman  standing  for  Westminster, 
which  the  former  reckon  a  borough  of  their  own.  For  my 
part,  waiter  for  waiter,  I  see  little  difference ;  they  were  all 
equally  ready  to  cry,  '  Coming,  coming,  Sir.' " 

Mackreth  was  afterwards  knighted ;  and  upon  him  ap- 
peared this  smart  and  well-remembered  epigram : 

When  Mackreth  served  in  Arthur's  crew, 
He  said  to  Rumbold,  "  Black  my  shoe ;" 

To  which  he  answer'd,  "  Ay,  Bob." 
But  when  retum'd  from  India's  land, 
And  grown  too  proud  to  brook  command, 

He  sternly  answer'd,  "  Nay,  Bob." 

The  Club-house  was  rebuilt  in  1825,  upon  the  site  of  the 
original  Chocolate-house,  Thomas  Hopper,  architect,  at 
which  time  it  possessed  more  than  average  design :  the 
front  is  of  stone,  and  is  enriched  with  fluted  Corinthian 
columns. 

White's  Club. 

This  celebrated  Club  was  originally  established  as  "White's 
Chocolate-house,"  in  1698,  five  doors  from  the  bottom  of 
the   west  side  of  St.  James's-street,   "  ascending  from  Sfc 


WHITE'S  CLUB.  93 

James's  Palace."     (Hatton,   1708.)    A  print  of  the  time 
shows  a  small  garden  attached  to  the  house  :  at  the  tables 
in  the  house  or  garden,  more  than  one  highwayman  took 
his  chocolate,  or  threw  his  main,  before  he  quietly  mounted 
his   horse,  and  rode   down  Piccadilly  towards   Bagshot." 
(Doran's  Table  Traits.)     It  was  destroyed  by  fire,  April  28^ 
i733>  when  the  house  was  kept  by  Mr.  Arthur,  who  sub- 
sequently gave  his  name  to  the  Club  called  Arthur's,  still 
existing  a  few  doors  above  the  original  White's.    At  the  fire, 
young  Arthur's  wife  leaped  out  of  a  second  floor  window, 
upon  a  feather-bed,  without  much  hurt.      A  fine  collection 
of  paintings,  belonging  to  Sir  Andrew  Fountaine,  valued  at 
3000/.,  was  entirely  destroyed.     The  King  and  the  Prince 
of  Wales  were  present  above  an  hour,  and  encouraged  the 
firemen  and  people  to  work  at  the  engines  j  a  guard  being 
ordered  from  St.  James's  to  keep  off  the  populace.     His 
Majesty  ordered  twenty  guineas  to  be  distributed  among 
the  firemen  and  others  that  worked  at  the  engines,  and  five 
guineas  to  the  guard ;  and  the  Prince  ordered  the  firemen 
ten  guineas.  "The  incident  of  the  fire,"  says  Mr.  Cunningham, 
"  was  made  use  of  by  Hogarth,  in  Plate  VI.  of  the  Rake's 
Progress,  representing  a  room  at  White's.      The  total  ab- 
straction of  the  gamblers  is  well  expressed  by  their  utter 
inattention  to  the  alarm  of  the  fire  given  by  watchmen,  who 
are  bursting  open  the  doors.    Plate  IV.  of  the  same  pictured 
moral  represents  a  group  of  chimney-sweepers  and  shoe-blacks 
gambling  on  the  ground  over-against  White's.      To  indicate 
the  Club  more  fully,  Hogarth  has  inserted  the  name  Black's. 
Arthur,  thus  burnt  out,  removed  to  Gaunt's  Cofifee-house, 
next  the  St.  James's  Cofifee-house,  and  which  bore  the  name 
of  "  White's  " — a  myth.     The  Tailer,  in  his  first  Number, 
promises   that   "  all  accounts  of  gallantry,   pleasure,   and 
entertainment,  shall  be  under  the  article  of  White's  Choco- 
late-house,"    Addison,  in  his  Prologue  to  Steele's  Tender 
Husband,  catches  "  the  necessary  spark  "  sometimes  "  taking 
snuff  at  White's." 


94  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

The  Chocolate-house,  open  to  any  one,  became  a  private 
Club-house  :  the  earliest  record  is  a  book  of  rules  and  list 
of  members  of  the  old  Club  at  White's,  dated  October  30th, 
1736.  The  principal  members  were  the  Duke  of  Devon- 
shire ;  the  Earls  of  Cholmondeley,  Chesterfield,  and  Rock- 
ingham ;  Sir  John  Cope,  Major-General  Churchill,  Bubb 
Dodington,  and  Colley  Cibber.  Walpole  tells  us  that  the 
celebrated  Earl  of -Chesterfield  lived  at  White's,  gaming  and 
pronouncing  witticisms  among  the  boys  of  quality;  "yet 
he  says  to  his  son,  that  a  member  of  a  gaming  club  should 
be  a  cheat,  or  he  will  soon  be  a  beggar,"  an  inconsistency 
which  reminds  one  of  old  Fuller's  saw :  "  A  father  that 
whipt  his  son  for  swearing,  and  swore  himself  whilst  he 
whipt  him,  did  more  harm  by  his  example  than -good  by  his 
correction." 

Swift,  in  his  Essay  on  Modern  Education,  gives  the 
Chocolate-house  a  sad  name.  "  I  have  heard,"  he  says, 
"  that  the  late  Earl  of  Oxford,  in  the  time  of  his  ministry, 
never  passed  by  White's  Chocolate-house  (the  common 
rendezvous  of  infamous- sharpers  and  noble  cullies)  without 
bestowing  a  curse  upon  that  famous  Academy,  as  the  bane 
of  half  the  English  nobility." 

The  gambling  character  of  the  Club  may  also  be  gathered 
from  Lord  Lyttelton  writing  to  Dr.  Doddridge,  in  1750. 
"  The  Dryads  of  Hagley  are  at  present  pretty  secure,  but  I 
tremble  to  'think  that  the  rattling  of  a  dice-box-  at  White's 
may  one  day  or  other  (if  my;  son  should  be  a  member  of  that 
noble  academy)-  shake  down  all  our  fine  oaks;  It  is  dread- 
ful to  see,  not  only  there,  but  almost  in  every  house  in  town 
what  devastations  are  made  by  that  destructive  fury,  the 
spirit  of  play." 

Swift's  character  of  the  company  is  also  borne  out  by 
Walpole,  in  a  letter  to  Mann,  December  16,  1748  :  "There 
is  a  man  about  town,  Sir  William  Burdett,  a  man  of  very 
good  family;  but  most  infamous  character.  In  short,  to  give 
you  his  character  at  once,  there  is  a  wager  entered  in  the 


WHITirs  CLUB.  95 

bet-book  at  M'^hite's  (a  MS.  of  which  I  may  one  day  or 
other  give  you  an  account),  that  the  first  baronet  that  will  be 
hanged  is  this  Sir  William  Burdett." 

Again,  Glover,  the  poet,  in  his  Autobiography,  tells  us: 
"Mir.  Pelham  (the  Prime  Minister)  was  originally  an  officer  in 
the  army,  and  a  professed  gamester  •  of  a  narrow  mind,  low 
parts,  etc.  .  .  .  Bylong  experience  and  attendance  he  became 
experienced  as  a  Parliament  man ;  and  even  when  Minister, 
divided  his  time  to  the  last  between  his  office  and  the  club 
of  gamesters  at  White's."     And,  Pope,  in  the  Dunciad,  has  : 

Or  chair'd  at  White's,  amidst  the  doctors  sit, 
Teach  oaths  to  gamesters,  and  to  nobles  wit. 

The  Club  removed,  in  1755,  to  the  east  side  of  St.  James's- 
street.  No.  38.  The  house  had  had  previously,  a  noble  and 
stately  tenant ;  for  here  resided  the  Countess  of  Northum- 
berland, widow  of  Algernon,  tenth  Earl  of  Northumberland, 
who  died  1688.  "  My  friend  Lady  Suffolk,  her  neice  by 
marriage,"  writes  Wa^ole,  "  has  talked  to  me  of  her  having, 
on  that  alHance,  visited  hen  She  then  lived  in  the  house 
now  White's,  at  the  upper  end  of  St.  James'srstreet,-and  was 
the  last  who  kept  up  the  ceremonious  state  of  the  old  peer- 
age. When  she  went  out  to  visit,  a  footman,  bareheaded, 
walked  on  each  side  of  her  coach,  and  a  second  coach  \vith 
her  women  attended  her.  I  think,  too,  that  Lady  Suifolk) 
told  me  that  her  granddaughter-in-law,  the  Duchess  of 
Somerset,  never  sat  down  before  her  without  leave  to  do  so. 
I  suppose,  the  old  Duke  Charles  [the  proud  Duke]  had 
imbibed  a  good  quantity  of  his  stately  pride  in  such  a 
school."  {Letter  to  the  Bishop  of  Dromore,  September  18; 
1792.)  This  high-minded  dame  had  published  a  "Volume 
of  Prayers.''  ' 

Among  the  Rules  of  the  Club,,  every,  member  was  to  pay 
one  guinea  a  year  towards  having  a  good  cook ;  the  names 
of  all  candidates  were  to  be  deposited  with  Mr.  Arthur  or 
Bob  [Mackreth].     In  balloting,  every  member  was  to  put 


96  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

in  his  ball,  and  such  person  or  persons  who  refuse  to  com- 
ply with  it,  shall  pay  the  supper  reckoning  of  that  night 
and,  in  1769,  it  was  agreed  that '  every  member  of  this  Club 
who  is  in  the  Billiard-Room  at  the  time  the  Supper  is 
declared  upon  table,  shall  pay  his  reckoning  if  he  does  not 
sup  at  the  Young  Club.' " 

''■  Of  CoUey  Gibber's  membership  we  find  this- odd  account 
in  Davies's  Life  of  Garrick: — "Colley,  we  told,  had  the 
honour  to  be  a  member  of  the  great  Club  at  White's ;  and 
so  I  suppose  might  any  other  man  who  wore  good  clothes, 
and  paid  his  money  when  he  lost  it.  But  on  what  terms 
did  Gibber  live  with  this  society  ?  Why,  he  feasted  most 
sumptuously,  as  I  have  heard  his  friend  Victor  say,  with  an 
air  of  triumphant  exultation,  with  Mr.  Arthur  and  his  wife, 
and  gave  a  trifle  for  his  dinner.  After  he  had  dined,  when 
the  Club-room  door  was  opened,  and  the  Laureate  was 
introduced,  he  was  saluted  with  loud  and  joyous  acclama- 
tion of  '  O  King  Coll !  Come  in  King  Coll !'  and  '  Welcome, 
welcome.  King  Colley !'  and  this  kind  of  gratulation,  Mr. 
Victor  thought,  was  very  gracious  and  very  honourable.'' 

In  the  Rules  quoted  by  Mr.  Cunningham,  from  the  Club- 
books,  we  find  that  in  1780,  a  dinner  was  ready  every  day 
during  the  sitting  of  Parliament,  at  a  reckoning  of  \2S.  per 
head;  in  1797,  at  xos.  6d.  per  head,  malt  liquors,  biscuits, 
oranges,  apples,  and  olives  included  ;  hot  suppers  provided 
at  8j-.  per  head;  and  cold  meat,  oysters,  etc.,  at  4J.,  malt 
liquor  only  included.  And,  "that  Every  Member  who  plays 
at  Chess,  Draughts,  or  Backgammon  do  pay  One  Shilling 
each  time  of  playing  by  daylight,  and  half-a-crown  each  by 
candlelight." 

White's  was  from  the  beginning  principally  a  gaming 
Club.  The  play  was  mostly  at  hazard  and  faro ;  no  member 
was  to  hold  a  faro  Bank.  Whist  was  comparatively  harmless. 
Professional  gamblers,  who  lived  by  dice  and  cards,  provided 
they  were  free  from  the  imputation  of  cheating,  procured 
admission  to  White's.    It  was  a  great  supper-house,  and  there 


Don  Saltero's  Cofifee  House,  Cheyne  Walk,  Chelsea.     (See  Tatler,  No.  34. ) 


feTi.j-.r '  *m 


'-:.^ 


f  W  :  *'.i%>i 


Subscription  Rooms,  Brookes'  Club,    (Whig.) 


WHITES  CLUB.  97 

was  play  before  and  after  supper,  carried  on  to  a  late  hour 
and  heavy  amounts.  Lord  Carlisle  lost  10,000/.  in  one 
night,  and  was  in  debt  to  the  house  for  the  whole.  He  tells 
Selwyn  of  a  set,  in  which  at  one  point  of  the  game,  stood  to 
win  50,000/.  Sir  John  Bland,  of  Kippax  Park,  who  shot 
himself  in  1755,  as  we  learn  from  Walpole,  flirted  away  his 
whole  fortune  at  hazard.  "  He  t'other  night  exceeded  what 
was  lost  by  the  late  Duke  of  Bedford,  having  at  one  period 
of  the  night,  (though  he  recovered  the  greater  part  of  it,) 
lost  two-and-thirty  thousand  pounds." 

Lord  Mountford  came  to  a  tragic  end  through  his  gambling. 
He  had  lost  money;  feared  to  be  reduced  to  distress;  asked 
for  a  Government  appointment,  and  determined  to  throw 
the  die  of  life  or  death,  on  the  answer  he  received  from 
Court.  The  answer  was  unfavourable.  He  consulted  several 
persons,  indirectly  at  first,  afterwards  pretty  directly — on  the 
easiest  mode  of  finishing  life  ;  invited  a  dinner-party  for  the 
day  after ;  supped  at  White's,  and  played  at  whist  till  one 
o'clock  of  the  New  Year's  morning.  Lord  Robert  Bertie 
drank  to  him  "  a  happy  new  year ;"  he  clapped  his  hand 
strangely  to  his  eyes.  In  the  morning  he  sent  for  a  lawyer 
and  three  witnesses  ;  executed  his  will ;  made  them  read  it 
twice  over,  paragraph  by  paragraph;  asked  the  lawyer  if  that 
will  would  stand  good  though  a  man  were  to  shoot  himself? 
Being  assured  it  would,  he  said,  "  Pray  stay,  while  I  step 
into  the  next  room," — ^went  into  the  next  room,  and  shot 
himself. 

Walpole  writes  to  Mann:  "John  Damier  and  his  two 
brothers  have  contracted  a  debt,  one  can  scarcely  expect  to 
be  believed  out  of  England, — of  70,000/.  .  .  .  The  young 
men  of  this  age  seem  to  make  a  law  among  themselves  for 
declaring  their  fathers  superannuated  at  fifty,  and  thus  dispose 
of  their  estates  as  if  already  their  own."  "  Can  you  believe 
that  Lord  Foley's  two  sons  have  borrowed  money  so  extrava- 
gantly, that  the  interest  they  have  contracted  to  pay,  amounts 
to  18,000/.  a  year." 


98  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. ' 

Fox's  love  of  play  was  frightful :  his  best  friends  are  said 
to  have  been  half-ruined  in  annuities,  given  by  them  as 
securities  for  him  to  the  Jews.  Five  hundred  thousand 
a  year  of  such  annuities,  of  Fox  and  his  Society,  were  adver- 
tised to  be  sold,  at  one  time  :  Walpole  wondered  what  Fox 
would  do  when  he  had  sold  the  estates  of  all  his  friends. 
Here  are  some  instances  of  his  desperate  play.  Walpole 
further  notes  that  in  the  debate  on  the  Thirty-nine  Articles, 
February  6,  1772,  Fox  did  not  shine,  "nor  could  it  be 
wondered  at.  He  had  sat  up  playing  at  hazard  at  Almack's, 
from  Tuesday  evening  the  4th,  till  five  in  the  afternoon  of 
Wednesday,  sth.  An  hour  before  he  had  recovered  12,000/. 
that  he  had  lost,  and  by  dinner,  which  was  at  five  o'clock, 
he  had  ended  losing  11,000/.  On  the  Thursday,  he  spoke 
in  the  above  debate;  went  to  dinner  at  past  eleven  at  night; 
from  thence  to  White's,  where  he  drank  till  seven  the  next 
morning ;  thence  to  Almack's,  where  he  won  6,000/. ;  and 
between  three  and  four  in  the  afternoon  he  set  out  for  New- 
market. His  brother  Stephen  lost  11,000/.  two  nights  after, 
and  Charles  10,000/  more  on  the  13th ;  so  that,  in  three 
nights,  the  two  brothers,  the  eldest  not  twenty-five,  lost 
32,000/" 

Walpole  and  a  party  of  friends^  (Dick  Edgecumbe,  George 
Selwyn,  and  Williams,)  in  1756,  composed  a  piece  of  heraldic 
satire — a  coat-of  arms  for  the  two  gaming-clubs  at  White's, — 
which  was  "  actually  engraving  from  a  very  pretty  painting 
of  Edgecumbe,  whom  Mr.  Chute,  as  Strawberry  King  at 
arms,"  appointed  their  chief  herald-painter.  The  blazon  is 
vert  (for  a  card-table) ;  three  parohs  proper  on  a  chevron 
sable  (for  a  hazard-table) ;  two  rouleaux  in  saltire  between 
two  dice  proper,  on  a  canton  sable ;  a  white  ball  (for  elec- 
tion) argent.  The  supporters  are  an  old  and  young  knave 
of  clubs ;  the  crest,  an  arm  oiit  of  an  earl's  coronet  shaking 
a  dice-box ;  and  the  motto,  "  Cogit  amor  nummi."  Round 
the  arms  is  a  claret-bottle  ticket  by  way  of  order.  The 
painting  above   mentioned  by  Walpole  of  "the  Old  and 


WHITE'S  CLUB.  99 

Young  Club  at  Arthur's."  was  bought  at  the  sale  of  Straw- 
berry Hill  by  Arthur's  Club-house  for  twenty-t^vo  shillings. 

At  White's,  the  least  difference  of  opinion  invariably 
ended  in  a  bet,  and  a  book  for  entering  the  particulars  of 
all  bets  was  always  laid  upon  the  table ;  one  of  these,  with 
entries  of  a  date  as  early  as  1744,  Mr.  Cunningham  tells  us, 
had  been  preserved.  A  book  for  entering  bets  is  still  laid 
on  the  table. 

In  these  betting  books  are  to  be  found  bets  on  births, 
deaths,  and  marriages ;  the  length  of  a  life,  or  the  duration 
of  a  ministry ;  a  placeman's  prospect  of  a  coronet ;  on  the 
shock  of  an  earthquake ;  or  the  last  scandal  at  Ranelagh,  or 
Madame  Cornelys's.  A  man  dropped  down  at  the  door  of 
White's  ;  he  was  carried  into  the  house.  Was  he  dead  or 
not  ?  The  odds  were  immediately  given  and  taken  for  and 
against.  It  was  proposed  to  bleed  him.  ,  Those  who  had 
taken  the  odds  the  man  was  dead,  protested  that  the  use  of 
a  lancet  would  affect  the  fairness  of  the  bet. 

Walpole  gives  some  ot  these  narratives  as  good  stories 
"  made  on  White's."  A  parson  coming  into  the  Club  on 
the  morning  of  the  earthquake  of  1750,  and  hearing  bets 
laid  whether  the  shock  was  caused  by  an  earthquake  or  the 
blowing-up  of  powder-mills,  went  away  in  horror,  protesting 
they  were  such  an  impious  set,  that  he  believed  if  the  last 
trump  were  to  sound,  they  would  bet  puppet-show  against 
Judgment."  Gilly  Williams  writes  to  Selwyn,  1764,  "Lord 
Digby  is  very  soon  to  be  married  to  Miss  Fielding."  Thou- 
sands might  have  been  won  in  this  house  (White's),  on  his 
Lordsliip  not  knowing  that  such  a. being  existed. 

Mr.  Cunningham  tells  us  that  "the  marriage  of  a  young 
lady,  of  rank  would  occasion  a  bet  of  a  hundred  guineas, 
that  she  would  give  butli  to  a  live  child  before  the  Countess 
of  —,—. — -,  who  had  been  married  three  or  even  more  months 
before  her.  Heavy  bets  were  pending,  that  Arthur,  who  was 
then  a  widower,  would  be  married  before  a  member  of  the 
Club  of  about  the  same  age,  and  also  a  widower ;  and  that 

H    2 


icx)  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

Sarah,  Duchess  of  Marlborough,  would  outlive  the  old 
Duchess  of  Cleveland." 

"  One  of  the  youth  at  White's,"  writes  Walpole  to  Mann, 
July  lo,  1744,  "has  committed  a  murder,  and  intends  to 
repeat  it.  He  betted  1500/.  that  a  man  could  live  twelve 
hours  under  water  ;  hired  a  desperate  fellow,  sunk  him  in  a 
ship,  by  way  of  experiment,  and  both  ship  and  man  have 
not  appeared  since.  Another  man  and  ship  are  to  be  tried 
for  their  lives,  instead  of  Mr.  Blake,  the  assassin." 

Walpole  found  at  White's,  a  very  remarkable  entry  in 
their  very — very  remarkable  wager-book,  which  is  still  pre- 
served. "Lord  Mountford  bets  Sir  John  Bland  twenty 
guineas  that  Nash  outlives  Gibber."  "How  odd,"  says 
Walpole,  "  that  these  two  old  creatures,  selected  for  their 
antiquities,  should  live  to  see  both  their  wagerers  put  an 
end  to  their  own  lives  !  Gibber  is  within  a  few  days  of 
eighty-four,  still  hearty,  and  clear,  and  well..  I  told  him  I 
was  glad  to  see  him  look  so  well.  '  Faith,'  said  he,  '  it  is 
very  well  that  I  look  at  all.'"  Lord  Mountford  would 
have  been  the  winner  :  Gibber  died  in  1757  ;  Nash  in  1761. 

Here  is  a  nice  piece  of  Selwyu's  ready  wit.  He  arid 
Charles  Townshend  had  a  kind  of  wit  combat  together. 
Selwyn,  it  is  said,  prevailed ;  and  Charles  Townsend  took 
the  wit  home  in  his  carriage,  and  dropped  him  at  White's. 
"  Remember  "  said  Selwyn,  as  they  parted,  "  this  is  the  first 
set-down  you  have  given  me  to-day." 

"  St.  Leger,"  says  Walpole,  "  was  at  the  head  of  these 
luxurious  heroes — he  is  the  hero  of  all  fashion.  I  never 
saw  more  dashing  vivacity  and  absurdity  with  some  flashes 
of  parts.  He  had  a  cause  the  other  day  for  ducking  a 
sharper,  and  was  going  to  swear ;  the  judge  said  to  him,  ■ '  I 
see.  Sir,  you  are  very  ready  to  take  an  oath.'  '  Yes,  my  Lord,' 
replied  St.  Leger,  '  my  father  was  a  judge.' "  St.  Leger  was 
a  lively  club  member.  "  Rigby,"  writes  the  Duke  of 
Bedford,  July  2,  1751,  "the  town  is  grown  extremely  thin 
within    this    week,   though    White's    continues    numerous 


WHires  CLUB.  loi 

enough,  with  young  people  only,  for  Mr.  St.  Leger's  vivacity, 
and  the  idea  the  old  ones  have  of  it,  prevent  the  great 
chairs  at  the  Old  Club  from  being  filled  with  their  proper 
drowsy  proprietors." 

In  Hogarth's  gambling  scene  at  White's,  we  see  the 
highwayman,  with  the  pistols  peeping  out  of  his  pocket, 
waiting  by  the  fireside  till  the  heaviest  winner  takes  his 
departure,  in  order  to  "  recoup  "  himself  of  his  losings.  And 
in  the  Beaux'  Straiegem,  Aimwell  asks  of  Gibbet,  "  Ha'nt  I 
seen  your  face  at  White's  ?" — "  Ay,  and  at  Will's  too,"  is  the 
highwayman's  answer. 

M 'Clean,  the  fashionable  highwayman,  had  a  lodging  in 
St.  James's-street,  over  against  White's ;  and  he  was  as  well 
known  about  St.  James's  as  any  gentleman  who  lived  in  that 
quarter,  and  who,  perhaps,  went  upon  the  road  too. 
When  M'Clean  was  taken,  in  1750,  Walpole  tells  us  that 
Lord  Mountford,  at  the  head  of  half  White's,  went  the  first 
day ;  his  aunt  was  crying  over  him ;  as  soon  as  they  were 
withdrawn,  she  said  to  him,  knowing  they  were  of  White's, 
"  My  dear,  what  did  the  Lords  say  to  you  ?  Have  you  ever 
been  concerned  with  any  of  them  ?  Was  it  not  admirable  ? 
What  a  favourable  idea  people  must  have  of  White's  ! — and 
wTiiit  if  White's  should  not  deserve  a  much  better?" 

A  waitership  at  a  club  sometimes  led  to  fortune.  Thomas 
Rumbold,  originally  a  waiter  at  White's,  got  an  appointment 
in  India,  and  suddenly  rose  to  be  Sir  Thomas,  and 
Governor  of  Madras.  On  his  return,  with  immense  wealth, 
a  bill  of  pains  and  penalties  were  brought  into  the  House 
by  Dundas,  with  the  view  of  stripping  Sir  Thomas  of  his 
ill-gotten  gains.  This  bill  was  briskly  pushed  through  the 
earlier  stages ;  suddenly  the  proceedings  were  arrested  by 
adjournment,  and  the  measure  fell  to  the  ground.  The 
rumour  of  the  day  attributed  Rumbold's  escape  to  the 
corrupt  assistance  of  Rigby;  who,  in  1782,  found  himself,  by 
Lord  North's  retirement,  deprived  of  his  place  in  the  Pay 
Office,  and  called  upon  to  refund  a  large  amount  of  public 


102  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

moneys  unaccounted  for.  In  this  strait,  Rigby  was  believed 
to  have  had  recourse  to  Rumbold.  Their  acquaintance  had 
commenced  in  earlier  days,  when  Rigby  was  one  of  the.' 
boldest  "  punters  "  at  White's,  and  Rumbold  bowed  to  him 
for  half-crowns.  Rumbold  is  said  to  have  given  Rigby  a 
large  sum  of  money,  on  condition  of  the  former  being 
released  from  the  impending  pains  and  penalties.  The 
truth  of  this  report  has  been  vehemently  denied ;  but  the 
circumstances  are  suspicious.  The  bill  was  dropped  :  Dun- 
das,  its  introducer,  was  Rigby's  intimate  associate.  Rigby's 
nephew  and  heir  soon  after  married  Rumbold's  daughter. 
Sir  Thomas  himself  had  married  a  daughter  of  Dr.  Law, 
Bishop  of  Carlisle.  The  worthy  Bishop  stood  godfather  to 
one  of  Rumbold's  children;  the  other  godfather  was  the 
Nabob  of  Arcot,  and  the  child  was  christened  "Mahomet." 
So,  at  least,  Walpole  informs  Mann.* 

Rigby  was  a  man  of  pleasure  at  White's.  Wilkes,  in 
the  North  Briton,  describes  Rigby  as  "an  excellent  bon- 
vivant,  amiable  and  engaging;  having  all  the  gibes  and 
gambols,  and  flashes  of  merriment,  which  set  the  table  in  a 
roar."  In  a  letter  to  Selwyn,  Rigby  writes  :  "  I  am  just  got 
home  from  a  cock-match,  where  I  have  won  forty  pounds 
in  ready  money;  and  not  having  dined,  am  waiting  till 
I  hear  the  rattle  of  the  coaches  from  the  House  of  Commons, 
in  order  to  dine  at  White's.  ,  .  .  The  next  morning  I  heard 
there  had  been  extreme  deep  play,  and  that  Harry  Furnese 
went  drunk  from  White's  at  six  o'clock,  and  with  the  ever 
memorable  sum  of  looo  guineas.  He  won  the  chief  part  of 
Doneraile  and  Bob  Bertie." 

The  Club  has  had  freaks  of  epicurism.  In  1751,  seven 
young  men  of  fashion,  headed  by  St.  Leger,  gave  a  dinner 
at  White's ;  one  dish  was  a  tart  of  choice  cherries  from  a 
hot-house ;  only  one  glass  was  tasted  out  of  each  botde  of 
champagne.     "The  bill  of  fare  has  got  into  print,"  writes 


'National  Review,"  No,  8. 


BOODLES  CLUB.  103 

Walpole,  to  Mann  j  "  and  Avith  good  people  has  produced 
the  apprehension  of  another  earthquake." 

From  Mackreth  the  property  passed  in  1784,  to  John 
Martindale,  and  in  1812,  to  Mr.  Raggett,  the  father  of  the 
the  present  proprietor.  The  original  form  of  the  house  was 
designed  by  James  Wyatt.  From  time  to  time,  White's 
underwent  various  alterations  and  additions.  In  the  autumn 
of  1850,  certain  improvements  being  thought  necessary,  it 
came  to  be  considered  that  the  front  was  of  too  plain  a 
character,  when  contrasted  with  the  many  elegant  buildings 
which  had  risen  up  around  it.  Mr.  Lockyer  was  consulted 
by  Mr.  Raggett  as  to  the  possibility  of  improving  the  facade ; 
and  under  his  direction,  four  bas-reliefs,  representing  the 
four  seasons,  which  occupy  the  place  of  four  sashes,  were 
designed  by  Mr.  George  Scharf,  jun.  The  interior  was 
redecorated  by  Mr.  Morant.  The  Club,  which  is  at  this 
time  limited  to  500  members,  was  formerly  composed  of  the 
high  Tory  party,  but  though  Conservative  principles  may 
probably  prevail,  it  has  now  ceased  to  be  a  political  club, 
and  may  rather  be  termed  "Aristocratic."  Several  of  the 
present  members  have  belonged  to  the  Club  upwards  of 
half  a  century,  and  the  ancestors  of  most  of  the  noblemen 
and  men  of  fashion  of  the  present  day  who  belong  to  the 
Club  were  formerly  members  of  it. 

The  Club  has  given  magnificent  entertainments  in  our 
time.  On  June  20,  18 14,  they  gave  a  ball  at  Burlington 
House  to  the  Emperor  of  Russia,  the  King  of  Prussia, 
and  the  allied  sovereigns  then  in  England ;  the  cost  was 
9849/.  2s.  6d.  Three  weeks  after  this,  the  Club  gave  to  the 
Duke  of  Wellington  a  dinner,  which  cost  2480/.  los.  <)d. 

Boodle's  Club. 

This  Club,  originally  the  "Savoir  vivre,"  which  with 
Brookes's  and  White's,  forms  a  trio  of  nearly  coeval  date, 
and  each  of  which  takes  the  present  name  of  its  founder,  is 


104  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

No.  28,  St.  James's-street.  In  its  early  records  it  was  noted 
for  its  costly  gaities,  and  the  Heroic  Epistk  to  Sir  William 
Chambers,  1773,  commemorates  its  epicurism  : 

For  what  is  Nature  ?     King  her  changes  round, 
Her  three  flat  notes  are  water,  plants,  and  ground  ; 
Prolong  the  peal,  yet,  spite  of  all  your  clatter, 
The  tedious  chime  is  still  ground,  plants,  and  water ; 
So,  when  some  John  his  dull  invention  racks, 
To  rival  Boodle's  dinners  or  Almack's, 
Three  uncouth  legs  of  mutton  shock  our  eyes. 
Three  roasted  geese,  three  buttered  apple-pies. 

In  the  following  year,  when  the  Clubs  vied  with  each 
other  in  giving  the  town  the  most  expensive  masquerades 
and  ridottos,  Gibbon  speaks  of  one  given  by  the  members 
of  Boodle's,  that  cost  2000  guineas.  Gibbon  was  early  of 
the  Club;  and,  "it  must  be  remembered,  waddled  as  well 
as  warbled  here  when  he  exhibited  that  extraordinary  person 
which  is  said  to  have  convulsed  Lady  Sheffield  with 
laughter ;  and  poured  forth  accents  mellifluous  like  Plato's 
from  that  still  more  extraordinary  mouth  which  has  been  de- 
scribed as  'a  round  hole  '  in  the  centre  of  his  face."* 

Boodle's  Club-house,  designed  by  Holland,  has  long  been 
eclipsed  by  the  more  pretentious  architecture  of  the  Club 
edifices  of  our  time  ;  but  the  interior  arrangements  are  well 
planned.  Boodle's  is  chiefly  frequented  by  country  gentle- 
men, whose  status  has  been  thus  satirically  insinuated  by  a 
contemporary :  "  Every  Sir  John  belongs  to  Boodle's — as 
you  may  see,  for,  when  a  waiter  comes  into  the  room  arid 
says  to  some  aged  student  of  the  Morning  Herald,  '  Sir  John, 
your  servant  has  come,'  every  head  is  mechanically  thrown 
up  in  answer  to  the  address.' " 

Among  the  Club  pictures  are  portraits  of  C.  J.  Fox,  and 
the  Duke  of  Devonshire.  Next  door,  at  No.  29,  resided 
Gillray,  the  caricaturist,  who,  in  1815,  threw  himself  from  an 
upstairs  window  into  the  street,  and  died  in  consequence. 


London  Clubs,  1853,  p.  51. 


los 


The  Beef-steak  Society. 

In  Hie  Spet;(afor,  No.  9,  March  10,  1710-11,  we  read: 
"  The  Beef-steak  and  October  Clubs  are  neither  of  them 
averse  to  eating  or  drinking,  if  we  may  form  a  judgment  of 
them  from  their  respective  titles."  This  passage  refers  to 
the  Beef-steak  Club,  founded  in  the  reign  of  Queen  Anne  ; 
and,  it  is  believed,  the  earliest  Club  with  that  name.  Dr. 
King,  in  his  Ari  of  Cookery,  humbly  inscribed  to  the  Beef- 
steak Club,  1709,  has  these  lines  : 

He  that  of  hon:)ur,  wit,  and  mirth  partakes, 

May  be  a  fit  companion  o'er  Beefsteaks  : 

His  name  may  be  to  futm'e  times  enrolled 

In  Estcourt's  book,  whose  gridiron's  framed  with  gold. 

Estcourt,  the  actor,  was  made  Providore  of  the  Club ; 
and  for  a  mark  of  distinction  wore  their  badge,  which  was  a 
small  gridiron  of  gold,  hung  about  his  neck  with  a  gi-een  silk 
ribbon.  Such  is  the  account  given  by  Chetwood,  in  his 
History  of  the  Stage,  1749  ;  to  which  he  adds  :  "  this  Club 
was  composed  of  the  chief  wits  and  great  men  of  the 
nation."  The  gridiron,  it  will  be  seen  hereafter,  was  as- 
sumed as  its  badge,  by  the  "  Society  of  Beef-steaks,  estab- 
lished a  few  years  later  :  they  call  themselves  '  the  Steaks,' 
and  abhor  the  notion  of  being  thought  a  Club.''  Though 
the  National  Review,  heretical  as  it  may  appear,  cannot 
consent  to  dissever  the  Society  from  the  earlier  Beef-steak 
Club  ;  which,  however,  would  imply  that  Rich  and  Lambert 
were  not  the  founders  of  the  Society,  although  so  circum- 
stantially shown  to  be.  Still,  the  stubbornness  of  facts  must 
prevail. 

Dick  Estcourt  was  beloved  by  Steele,  who  thus  introduces 
him  m  the  Spectator,  No.  358  :  "  The  best  man  that  I  know 
of  for  heightening  the  real  gaiety  of  a  company  is  Estcourt, 
whose  jovial  humour  diffuses  itself  from  the  highest  person  at 
an  entertainment  to  the  meanest  waiter.    Merry  tales,  accom- 


io6  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

panied  with  apt  gestures  and  lively  representations  of  circum- 
stances and  persons,  beguile  the  gravest  mind  into  a  consent 
to  be  as  humorous  as  himself.  Add  to  this,  that  when  a  man 
is  in  his  good  graces,  he  has  a  mimicry  that  does  not  debase 
the  person  he  represents,  but  which,  taken  from  the  gravity  of 
the  character,  adds  to  the  agreeableness  of  it." 

Then,  in  the  Spectator,  No.  264,  we  find  a  letter  from  Sir 
Roger  de  Coverley,  from  Coverley,  "  To  Mr.  Estcourt,  at 
his  House  in  Covent  Garden,"  addressing  him  as  "  Old 
Comical  One,"  and  acknowledging  "  the  hogsheads  of  neat 
port  came  safe,"  and  hoping  next  term  to  help  fill  Estcourt's 
Bumper  "  with  our  people  of  the  Club."  The  Bumper  was 
the  tavern  in  Covent  Garden,  which  Estcourt  opened  about 
a  year  before  his  death.  In  this  quality  Pamell  speaks  ot 
him  in  the  beginning  of  one  of  his  poems  : — 

Gay  Bacchus  liking  Estcourt's  wine 

A  noble  meal  bespoke  us, 
And  for  the  guests  that  were  to  dine 

Brought  Comus,  Love,  and  Jociis. 

The  spectator  delivers  this  merited  eulogy  of  the  player, 
just  prior  to  his  benefit  at  the  theatre :  "This  pleasant  fellow 
gives  one  some  idea  of  the  ancient  Pantomime,  who  is  said 
to  have  given  the  audience  in  dumb-show,  an  exact  idea  of 
any  character  or  passion,  or  an  intelligible  relation  of  any 
public  occurrence,  with  no  other  expression  than  that  of  his 
looks  and  gestures.  If  all  who  have  been  obliged  to  these 
talents  in  Estcourt  will  be  at  Love  for  Love  to-morrow  night, 
they  will  but  pay  him  what  they  owe  him,  at  so  easy  a  fate 
as  being  present  at  a  play  which  nobody  would  omit  seeing,' 
that  had,  or  had  not,  ever  seen  it  before." 

Then,  in  the  Spectator,  No.  468,  August  27, 17 12,  with  what 
touching  pathos  does  Steele  record  the  last  exit  of  this  choice 
spirit :  "  I  am  very  sorry  that  I  have  at  present  a  circumstance 
before  me  which  is  of  very  great  importance  to  all  who  have' 
a  relish  for  gaiety,  wit,  mirth,  or  humour :  I  m.ean  the  death 
of  poor  Dick  Estcourt.     I  have  been  obliged  to  him  for  so 


THE  BEEF-STEAK  SOCIETY.  jo? 

many  hours  of  jollity,  that  it  is  but  a  small  recompense, 
though  all  I  can  give  him,  to  pass  a  moment  or  two  in  sadness 
for  the  loss  of  so  agreeable  a  man.  .  .  .  Poor  Estcourt !  Let 
the  vain  and  proud  be  at  rest,  thou  wilt  no  more  disturb  their 
admiration  of  their  dear  selves ;  and  thou  art  no  longer  to 
drudge  in  raising  the  mirth  of  stupids,  who  know  nothing  of 
thy  merit,  for  thy  maintenance."  Having  spoken  of  him 
"  as  a  companion  and  a  man  qualified  for  conversation," — 
his  fortune  exposing  him  to  an  obsequiousness  towards  the 
worst  sort  of  company,  but  his  excellent  qualities  rendering 
him  capable  of  making  the  best  figure  in  the  most  refined, 
and  then  havmg  told  of  his  maintaining  "  his  good  humour 
with  a  countenance  or  a  language  so  delightful,  without 
offence  to  any  person  or  thing  upon  earth,  still  preserving 
the  distance  his  circumstances  obliged  him  to," — Steele  con- 
cludes with  "  I  say,  I  have  seen  him  do  all  this  in  such  a 
charming  manner,  that  I  am  sure  none  of  those  I  hint  at 
will  read  this,  without  giving  him  some  sorrow  for  their 
abundant  mirth,  and  one  gush  of  tears  for  so  many  bursts  of 
laughter.  I  wish  it  were  any  honour  to  the  pleasant 
creature's  memory,  that  my  eyes  are  too  much  suffused  to 

let  me  go   on "      We  agree  with  Leigh   Hunt  that 

Steele's  "  overfineness  of  nature  was  never  more  beautifully 
evinced  in  any  part  of  his  writings  than  in  this  testimony  to 
the  merits  of  poor  Dick  Estcourt." 

Ned  Wardj  in  his  Secret  History  of  Clubs,  first  edition, 
1709,  describes  the  Beef-steaks,  which,  he  coarsely  contrasts 
with  "  the  refined  wits  of  the  Kit-Cat."  This  new  Society 
griliado'd  beef  eaters  first  settled  their  meeting  at  the  sign 
of  the  Imperial  Phiz,  just  opposite  to  a  famous  conventicle 
in  the  Old  Jury,  a  publick-house  that  has  been  long  eminent 
for  the  true  British  quintessence  of  malt  and  hops,  and  a 
broiled  sliver  offthejuicyrumpofafat,  well-fed  bullock.  .  .  . 
This  noted  boozing  ken,  above  all  others  in  the  City,  was 
chosen  out  by  the  Rump-steak  admirers,  as  the  fittest 
mansion   to   entertain   the   Society,   and   to    gratify    their 


loS  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

appetites  with  that  particular  dainty  they  desired  to  be  dis- 
tinguished by.  [The  Club  met  at  the  place  appointed,  and 
chose  for  Prolocutor,  an  Irish  comedian].  No  sooner  had 
they  confirmed  their  Hibernian  mimic  in  his  honourable 
post,  but  to  distinguish  him  from  the  rest,  they  made  him  a 
Knight  of  St.  Lawrence,  and  hung  a  silver  gridiron  (?)  about 
his  neck,  as  a  badge  of  the  dignity  they  had  conferred  upon 
him,  that  when  he  sung  Pretty  Parrot,  he  might  thrum  upon 
the  bars  of  his  new  instrument,  and  mimic  a  haughty 
Spaniard  serenading  his  Donna  with  guitar  and  madrigal. 
The  Zany,  as  proud  of  his  new  fangle  as  a  German  mounte- 
bank of  a  prince's  medal,  when  he  was  thus  dignified  and 
distinguished  with  his  cuKnary  symbol  hanging  before  his 
breast,  took  the  highest  post  of  honour,  as  his  place  at  the 
board,  where,  as  soon  as  seated,  there  was  not  a  bar  in  the 
silver  kitchen-stuff  that  the  Society  had  presented  him  with, 
but  was  presently  handled  with  a  theatrical  pun,  or  an  Irish 
witticism.  .  .  .  Orders  v/ere  despatched  to  the  superinten- 
dent of  the  kitchen  to  provide  several  nice  specimens  of 
their  Beef-steak  cookery,  some  with  the  flavour  of  a  shalot 
or  onion;  some  broil'd,  some  fry'd,  some  stew'd,  some 
toasted,  and  others  roasted,  that  every  judicious  member  of 
the  new  erected  Club  might  appeal  to  his  palate,  and  from 
thence  determine  whether  the  house  they  had  chosen  for 
their  rendezvous  truly  deserved  that  public  fame  for  their 
inimitable  management  of  a  bovinary  sliver  which  the  world 
had  given  them.  .  .  .  When  they  had  moderately  supplied 
their  beef  stomachs,  they  were  all  highly  satisfy'd  with  the 
choice  they  had  made,  and  from  that  time  resolved  to 
repeat  their  meeting  once  a  week  in  the  same  place."  [At 
the  next  meeting  the  constitution  and  bye-laws  of  the  new 
little  commonwealth  were  settled ;  and  for  the  further 
encouragement  of  wit  and  pleasantry  thoughout  the  whole 
Society,  there  was  provided  a  very  voluminous  paper  book, 
"  about  as  thick  as  a  bale  of  Dutch  linen,  into  which  were  to 
be  entered  every  witty  saying  that  should  be  spoke  in  the 


THE  BEEF-STEAK  SOCIETY.  109 

Society :"  this  nearly  proved  a  failure ;  but  Ward  gives  a 
taste  of  the  performances  by  reciting  some  that  had  been 
stolen  out  of  their  Journal  by  a  false  Brother;  here  is 
one : — ] 

ON  AN  ox. 

Most  noble  creature  of  the  horned  race, 

Who  labonrs  at  the  plough  to  earn  thy  grass, 

And  yielding  to  the  yoke,  shows  man  the  way  1 

To  bear  his  servile  chains,  and  to  obey 

More  haughty  tyrants,  who  usurp  the  sway. 

Thy  sturdy  sinews  till  the  farmer's  grounds. 

To  thee  the  grazier  owes  his  hoarded  pounds  ; 

'Tis  by  thy  labour,  we  abound  in  malt. 

Whose  powerful  juice  the  meaner  slaves  exalt ; 

And  when  grown  fat,  and  fit  to  be  devour'd, 

The  pole-ax  frees  thee  from  the  teazing  goard  : 

Thus  cruel  man,  to  recompense  thy  pains, 

First  works  thee  hard,  and  then  beats  out  thy  brains. 

Ward  is  very  hard  upon  the  Kit-Cat  community,  and  tells 
us  that  the  Beef-steaks,  "  like  true  Britons,  to  show  their 
resentment  in  contempt  of  Kit-Cat  pies,  very  justly  gave  the 
preference  to  a  rump-steak,  most  wisely  agreeing  that  the 
venerable  word,  beef,  gave  a  more  masculine  grace,  and 
sounded  better  in  the  title  of  a  true  English  Club,  than 
either  pies  or  Kit-Cat ;  and  that  a  gridiron,  which  has  the 
honour  to  be  made  the  badge  of  a  Saint's  martyrdom,  was  a 
nobler  symbol  of  their  Christian  integrity,  than  two  or  three 
stars  or  garters ;  who  learnedly  recollecting  how  great  an 
affinity  the  word  bull  has  to  beef,  they  thought  it  very  con- 
sistent with  the  constitution  of  their  Society,  instead  of 
a  Welsh  to  have  a  Hibernian  secretary.  Being  thus  fixed  to 
the  great  honour  of  a  little  alehouse,  next  door  to  the 
Church,  and  opposite  to  the  Meeting,  they  continued  to 
meet  for  some  time  ;  till  their  fame  spreading  over  all  the 
town,  and  reaching  the  ears  of  the  great  boys  and  little  boys, 
as  they  came  in  the  evening  from  Merchant  Taylors'  School, 
they  could  not  forbear  hollowing  as  they  passed  the  door ; 
^tnd  being  acquainted  with  their  nights  of  meeting,   they 


no  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

seldom  failed  when  the  divan  was  sitting,  of  complimenting 
their  ears  with  '  Huzza  !  Beef-steak  i' — that  they  might 
know  from  thence,  how  much  they  were  reverenced  for  men 
of  learning  by  the  very  school-boys." 

"  But  the  modest  Club,"  says  Ward,  "  not  affecting 
popularity,  and  choosing  rather  to  be  deaf  to  all  public 
flatteries,  thought  it  an  act  of  prudence  to  adjourn  from 
thence  into  a  place  of  obscurity,  where  they  might  feast 
knuckle-deep  in  luscious  gravy,  and  enjoy  themselves  free 
from  the  noisy  addresses  of  the  young  scholastic  rabble ; 
so  that  now,  whether  they  have  healed  the  breach,  and  are 
again  returned  into  the  Kit-Cat  community,  from  whence  it 
is  believed  upon  some  disgust,  they  at  first  separated,  or 
whether,  like  the  Calves'  Head  Club  they  remove  from 
place  to  place,  to  prevent  discovery,  I  sha'n't  presume  to 
determine ;  but  at  the  present,  like  Oates's  army  of  pilgrims, 
in  the  time  of  the  plot,  though  they  are  much  talk'd  of  they 
are  difficult  to  be  found."  The  "  Secret  history  "  concludes 
with  an  address  to  the  Club,  from  which  these  are  specimen 

lines  : 

Such  strenuous  lines,  so  cheering,  soft,  and  sweet, 
That  daily  flow  from  your  conjunctive  wit, 
Proclaim  the  power  of  Beef,  that  noble  meat. 
Your  tuneful  songs  such  deep  impression  make, 
And  of  such  awftil  beauteous  strength  partake, 
Each  stanza  seems  an  ox,  each  line  a  steak. 
As  if  the  rump  in  slices,  broil'd  or  stew'd 
In  its  own  gravy,  till  divinely  good, 
Turned  all  to  powerful  wit,  as  soon  as  chew'd. 

To  grind  thy  gravy  out  their  jaws  employ, 
O'er  heaps  of  reeking  steaks  express  their  joy, 
And  sing  of  Beef  as  Homer  did  of  Troy. 

We  shall  now  more  closely  examine  the  origin  and  history 
of  the  Sublime  Society  of  the  Steaks,  which  has  its  pedigree, 
its  ancestry,  and  its  title-deeds.  The  gridiron  of  1735  is  the 
real  gridiron  on  which  its  first  steak  was  broiled.  Henry 
Rich  (Lun,  the  first  Harlequin)  was  the  founder,  to  whotn 


THE  BEEF-STEAK  SOCIETY.  1 1 1 

Garrick  thus  alludes  in  a  prologiie  to  the  Irish  experiment  of 
a  speaking  pantomime : 

When  Lun  appeared,  with  matchless  art  and  whim, 
He  gave  tlie  power  of  speech  to  every  limb. 
Though  maslced  and  mute  conveyed  his  true  intent, 
And  told  in  ifrolic  gestm-es  what  he  meant ; 
But  now  the  motley  coat  and  sword  of  wood, 
Requii'e  a  tongue  to  make  them  understood. 

There  is  a  letter  extant,  written  by  Nixon,  the  treasurer, 
probably  to  some  artist,  granting  perinission  by  the  Beef- 
steak Society  "  to  copy  the  original  gridiron,  and  I  have 
wrote  on  the  other  side  of  this  sheet  a  note  to  Mr.  White.at 
the  Bedford,  to  introduce  you  to  our  room  for  the  purpose 
making  your  drawing.'  The  first  spare  moment  I  can  take 
from  my  business  shall  be  employed  in  making  a  short 
statement  of  the  rise  and  establishment  of  the  Beef-steak 
Society." 

Rich,  in  1732,  left  the  Lincoln's  Inn  Fields  Theatre  for 
Covent  Garden,  the  success  of  the  Beggar^  Opera  having 
"  made  Gay  rich  and  Rich  gay:"  He  was  accustomed  to 
arrange  the  coihic  business  and  construct  thd  iModels  of  tricks 
for  his  pantomimes  in  his  private  room  at  Covent  Garden. 
Here  resorted  men  of  rank  and  wit,  for  Rich's  colloquial 
oddities  were  much  relished.  Thither  came  Mordaunt,  Earl 
of  Peterborough,  the  friend  of  Pope,  and  thus  commemorated 

by  Swift: 

Mordanto  iills  the  trump  of  fame  ; 

The  Christian  world  his  death  proclaim ; 

And  prints  are  crowdjed  with  his  name. 

In  journeys  he  outrides  the  post ; 

Sits  up  till  midnight  with  his  host ; 

Talks  politics  and  gives' the  toast, 

A  skeleton  in  outward  tigiire  ;  .  ,■ 

His  meagi-e  corpse,  though  full  ol  vigour. 

Would  halt  behind  him,  were  it  bigger, 

So  wonderful  his  expedition  ; 

When  you  havB  not  the  least  suspicion, 

He'smth  you,  like  an  apparition  ; 


112  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

Shines  in  all  climates  like  a  star ; 
In  senates  bold,  and  fierce  in  war  ; 
A  land-commandant  and  a  tar. 

He  was  then  advanced  in  years,  and  one  afternoon  stayed 
talking  with  Rich  about  his  tricks  and  transformations,  and 
listening  to  his  agreeable  talk,  until  Rich's  dinner-hour,  two 
o'clock,  had  arrived.  In  all  these  colloquies  witii  his  visitors, 
whatever  their  rank.  Rich  never  neglected  his  art.  Upon 
one  occasion,  accident  having  detained  the  Earl's  coach  later 
than  usual,  he  found  Rich's  chat  so  agreeable,  that  he  was 
quite  unconscious  it  was  two  o'clock  in  the  afternoon;  when 
he  observed  Rich  spreading  a  cloth,  then  coaxing  his  iire 
into  a  clear  cooking  flame,  and  proceeding,  with  great  gravity, 
to  cook  his  own  beef-steak  on  his  own  gridiron.  The  steak 
sent  up  a  most  inviting  incense,  and  my  Lord  could  not 
resist  Rich's  invitation  to  partake  of  it.  A  further  supply 
was  sent  for ;  and  a  bottle  or  two  of  good  wine  from  a 
neighbouring  tavern  prolonged  their  enjoyment  to  a  late 
hour.  But  so  delighted  was  the  old  Peer  with  the  entertain- 
ment, that,  on  going  away,  he  proposed  renewing  it  at  the 
same  place  and  hour,  on  the  Saturday  following.  He  was 
punctual  to  his  engagement,  and  brought  with  him  three  or 
four  friends,  "  men  of  wit  and  pleasure  about  town,"  as  M. 
Bouges  would  call  them  ;  and  so  truly  festive  was  the  meet- 
ing that  it  was  proposed  a  Saturday's  club  should  be  held 
there,  whilst  the  town  remained  full.  A  sumptuary  law,  even 
at  this  early  period  of  the  Society,  restricted  the  bill  of  fare 
to  beef-steaks,  and  the  beverage  to  port-wine  and  punch. 

However,  the  origin  of  the  Society  is  related  with  a 
difference.  Edwards,  in  his  Anecdotes  of  Painting,  relates 
that  Lambert,  many  years  principal  scene-painter  at  Covent 
Garden  Theatre,  received,  in  his  painting-room,  persons  of 
rank  and  talent ;  where,  as  he  could  not  leave  for  dinner,  he 
frequently  was  content  with  a  steak,  which  he  himself  broiled 
upon  the  fire  in  his  room.  Sometimes  the  visitors  partook 
of  the  hasty  meal,  and  out  of  this  practice  grew  the  Beef- 


THE  BEEF-STEAK  SOCIETY.  1 13' 

Steak  Society,  and  the  assembling  in  the  painting-room.  The 
members  were  afterwards  accommodated  with  a  room  in  the 
playhouse  ;  and  when  the  Theatre  was  rebuilt,  the  place  of 
meeting  was  changed  to  the  Shakespeare  Tavern,  where  was 
the  portrait  of  Lambert,  painted  by  Hudson,  Sir  Joshua 
Reynolds's  master. 

In  the  Connoisseur,  June  6th,  1754,  we  read  of  the  Society, 
"  composed  of  the  most  ingenious  artists  in  the  Kingdom," 
meeting  "  every  Saturday  in  a  noble  room  at  the  top  of 
Covent  Garden  Theatre,"  and  never  suffering  "a:ny  diet 
except  Beef-steaks  to  appear.  These,  indeed,  are  most 
glorious  examples  :  but  what,  alas  !  are  this  weak  endeavours 
of  a  few  to  oppose  the  daily  inroads  of  fricassees  and  soup- 
maigres  f 

However,  the  apartments  in  the  theatre  appropriated  to 
the  Society  varied.  Thus,  we  read  of  a  painting-room  even 
with  the  stage  over  the  kitchen,  which  was  under  part  of  the 
stage  nearest  Bow-street.  At  one  period,  the  Society  dined 
in  a  small  room  over  the  passage  of  the  theatre.  The  steaks 
were  dressed  in  the  same  room,  and  when  they  found  it  too 
hot,  a  curtain  was  drawn  between  the  company  and  the  fire. 

We  shall  now  glance  at  the  celebrities  who  came  to  the 
painting-room  in  the  Lincoln's  Inn  Fields  theatre,  and  the 
later  locations  of  the  Club,  in  Covent  Garden.  To  the 
former  came  Hogarth  and  his  fathfer-in-law,  Sir  James 
Thomhill,  stimulated  by  their  love  of  the  painter's  art,  and 
the  equally  potent  charm  of  conviviality. 

Churchill  was  introduced  to  the  Steaks  by  his  friend 
Wilkes ;  but  his  irregularities  were  too  much  for  the  Society, 
which  was  by  no  means  particular ;  his  desertion  of  his  wife 
brought  a  hornets'  swarm  about  him,  so  that  he  soon  resigned, 
to  avoid  the  disgrace  of  expulsion.  Churchill  attributed  this 
flinging  of  the  first  stone  to  Lord  Sandwich  ;  he  never  for- 
gave the  peccant  Peer,  but  put  him  into  the'  pillory  of  his  fierce 
satire,  which  has  outlived  most  of  his  other  writinjgs,  and  here 
it  IS  : 

I 


XI4  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

From  his  youth  upwards  to  the  present  clay, 

When  vices  more  than  years  have  made  liim  grey  ; 

When  riotous  excess  with  wasteful  hand 

Shakes  life's  frail  glass,  and  hastes  each  ebbing  sand ; 

Unmindful  from  what  stock  he  drew  his  birth, 

Untainted  with  one  deed  of  real  worth — 

Lothario,  holding  honoitr  at  no  price. 

Folly,  to  folly,  added  vice  to  vice. 

Wrought  sin  with  greediness,  and  courted  shame 

With  greater  zeal  than  good  men  seek  for  fame. 

Churchill,  in  a  letter  to  Wilkes,  says,  "Your  friends  at  the 
Beef-steak  inquired  after  you  last  Saturday  with  the  greatest 
zeal,  and  it  gave  me  no  small  pleasure  that  I  was  the  person 
of  whom  the  inquiry  was  made.''  Charles  Price  was  allowed 
to  be  one  of  the  most  witty  of  the  Society,  and  it  is  related 
that  he  and  Churchill  kept  the  table  in  a  roar. 

Formerly,  the  members  wore  a  blue  coat,  with  red  cape 
and  cuffs ;  buttons  with  the  initials  B.  S. ;  and  behind  the , 
President's  chair  was  placed  the  Society's  halbert,  which, 
with  the  gridiron,  was  found  among  the  rubbish  after  the 
Covent  Garden  fire. 

Mr.  Justice  Welsh  was  frequently  chairman  at  the  Beef- 
steak dinner.  Mrs.  NoUekens,  his  daughter,  acknowledges 
that  she  often  dressed  a  hat  for  the  purpose,  with  ribbpns , 
similar  to  those  worn  by  the  yeomen  of  the  guard.  The 
Justice  was  a  loyal  man,  but  discontinued  his  membership 
when  Wilkes  joined  the  Society ;  though  the  latter  was  the 
man  at  the  Steaks. 

To  the  Steaks  Wilkes  sent  a  copy  of  his  infamous  Essay 
on    Women,  first  printed  for  private  circulation ;  for  which 
Lord  Sandwich — ^Jemmy.  Twitcher — ^himself,  as    we  have 
seen,  a  member  of  the  Society — moved  in  the  House  of 
Lords    that   Wilkes    should    be   taken    into    custody;    a, 
piece  of  treason  as  the  act  of  one  brother  of  the  Steaks;  j 
against    another,    fouler  than    even    the   trick   of  "dirty. 
Kidgell,"  the  parson,  who,  as  a  friend  of  the  author,  got  a,, 
copy  of  the  Essay  from  the  printer,  and  then  felt  it  his  duty-. 


THE  BEEF-STEAK  SOCIE  TV.  115 

to  denounce  the  publication ;  he  had  been  encouraged  to 
inform  against  Wilkes's  Essay  by  the  Earl  of  March,  after^ 
wards  Duke  of  Queensbeny.  However,  Jemmy  Twitcher 
himself  was  expelled  by  the  Steaks  the  same  year  he  assailed 
Wilkes  for  the  Essay ;  the  gfossness  and  blasphemy  of  the 
poem  disgusted  the  Society ;  and  Wilkes  never  dined  there 
after  1763;  yet,  when  he  went  to  France,  they  hypocritically 
made  him  an  honorary  member. 

Garrick  was  an  honoured  member  of  the  Steaks ;  though 
he  did  not  affect  Clubs.  The  Society  possess  a  hat  and 
sword  which  David  wore,  probably  on  the  night  when  he 
stayed  so  long  with  the  Steaks,  and  had  to  play  Ranger,  at 
Drury-lane.  The  pit  grew  restless,  the  gallery  bawled 
"  Manager,  manager !"  Garrick  had  been  sent  for  to 
Covent  Garden,  where  the  Stea,ks  then  dined,  Carriages 
blocked  up  Russell-street,  and  he  had  to. thread  his  way 
between  them ;  as  he  came  panting  into  the  theatre,  "  I 
think,  David,"  said  Ford,  one  of  the  anxious  patentees, 
"  considering  the  stake  you  and  I  have  in  this  house,  you 
might  pay  more  attention  to  the  business."-^"  True,  my 
good  friend,"  returned  Garrick,  "  but  I  was  thmking  of  my 
steak  in  the  other  house."  , 

Many  a  reconciliation  of  parted  friends  has  taken  place  at 
this  Club.  Peake,  in  his  Memoirs  of  the  Colman  Faintly, 
thus  refers  to  a  reconciliation  between  Garrick  and  Colman 
the  elder,  through  the  Sublime  Society  : — 

"Whether  Mr.  Clutterbuck  or  other, friends  interfered  to 
reconcile  the  two  dramatists,  or  whether  the  considerations 
of  mutual  interest  may  not  in  a  great  measure  have  aided  in 
healing  the  breach  between  Colman  and  Garrick,  is  not  pre- 
cisely to  be  determined ;  but  it  would  appear,  from  the  sub- 
joined short  note  from  Garrick,  that  Colman  must  have  made 
some  overture  to  him. 

" '  My  dear  Colman, — Becket  has  been  with  me,  and  tells 
me  of  your  friendly  intentions  towards  me.  I  should  have 
been  beforehand  with  you,  had  I  not  been  ill  with  the  beef- 

I  2 


Il6  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

Steaks  and  arrack  punch  last  Saturday,  and  was  obliged  to 
leave  the  play-house. 

"  '  He  that  parts  us  shall  bring  a  brand  from  Heav'n, 
And  fire  us  hence. 

" '  Ever  yours,  old  and  new  friend, 

'"D.  Garrick.'" 

The  beef-steaks,  arrack  punch,  and  Saturday,  all  savour 
very  strongly  of  a  visit  to  the  Sublime  Society  held  at  that 
period  in  Covent  Garden  Theatre,  where  many  a  clever 
fellow  has  had  his  diaphragm  disordered,  before  that  time 
and  since.  Whoever  has  had  the  pleasure  to  join  their 
convivial  board ;  to  witness  the  never-failing  good-humour 
which  predominates  there  ;  to  listen  to  the  merry  songs,  and 
to  the  sparkling  repartee;  and  to  experience  the  hearty 
welcome  and  marked  attention  paid  to  visitors,  could  never 
have  cause  to  lament,  as  Garrick  has  done,  a  trifling  illness 
the  following  day.  There  must  have  been  originally  a  wise 
and  simple  code  of  laws,  which  could  have  held  together  a 
convivial  meeting  for  so  lengthened  a  period. 

Garrick  had  no  slight  tincture  of  vanity,  and  was  fond  of 
accusing  himself,  in  the  Chesterfield  phrase,  of  the  cardinal 
virtues.  Having  remarked  at  the  Steaks  that  he  had  so 
large  a  mass  of  manuscript  plays  submitted  to  him,  that  they 
were  constantly' liable  to  be  mislaid,  he  observed  that,  un- 
pleasant as  it  was  to  reject  an  author's  piece,  it  was  an  affront 
to  his  feelings  if  it  could  not  be  instantly  found ;  and  that 
for  this  reason  he  made  a  point  of  ticketing  and  labelling 
the  play  that  was  to  be  returned,  that  it  might  be  forth- 
coming at  a  moment.  ''  Afig  for  your  hypocrisy,"  exclaimed 
Murphy  across  the  table;  "you  know,  Davy,  you  mislaid 
my  tragedy  two  months  ago,  and  I  make  no  doubt  you  have 
lost  it." — "Yes,"  replied  Garrick;  "but  you  forgot,  you 
ungrateful  dog,  that  I  offered  you  more  than  its  value,  for 
you  might  have  had  two  manuscript  farces  in  its  stead." 
This  is  the  right  paternity  of  an  anecdote  often  told  of  other 
parties. 


J  HE  BEEF-STEAK  SOCIF/ry.  117 

Jack  Richards,  a  well-known'  presbyter  of  the  Society, 
unless  when  the  "  fell  serjieant,"  the  gout,  had  arrested  him, 
never  absented  himself  from  its  board.  He  was  recorder, 
and  there  is  nothing  in  comedy  equal  to  his  passing  sentence 
on  those  who  had  offended  against  the  rules  and  observances 
of  the  Society.  Having  put  on  Garrick's  hat,  he  proceeded 
to  inflict  a  long,  wordy  harangue  upon  the  culprit,  who  often 
endeavoured  most  unavailingly  to  stop  him.  Nor  was  it 
possible  to  see  when  he  meant  to  stop.  But  the  imperturbable 
gravity  with  which  Jack  performed  his  office,  and  the  fruit- 
less writhings  of  the  luckless  being  on  whom  the  shower  of 
his  rhetoric  was  discharged,  constituted  the  amusement  of 
the  scene.  There  was  no  subject  upon  which  Jack's  exu- 
berance of  talk  failed  him  ;  yet,  in  that  stream  of  talk  there 
was  never  mingled  one  drop  of  malignity,  nor  of  unkind 
censure  upon  the  erring  or  unhappy.  He  would  as  soon 
adulterate  his  glass  of  port-wine  with  water,  as  dash  that 
honest  though  incessant  prattle  with  one  malevolent  or  un- 
generous remark. 

William  Linley,  the  brother  of  Mrs.  Sheridan,  charmed 
the  Society  -ivith  his  pure,  simple  English  song  :  in  a  melody 
of  Ame's,  or  of  Jackson's  of  Exeter,  or  a  simple  air  of  his 
father's,  lie  excelled  to  admiration, — faithful  to  the  charap- 
teristic  chastity  of  the  style  of  singing  peculiar  to  the  Linley 
family.  Linley  had  not  what  is  called  a  fine  voice,  and  port- 
wine  and  late  nights  did  not  improve  his  organ;  but  you  forgot 
the  deficiencies  of  his  power,  in  the  spirit  and  taste  of  his 
manner.  He  wrote  a  novel  in  three  volumes,  which  was  so 
schooled  by  the  Steaks  that  he  wrote  no  more  :  when  the 
agony  of  wounded  authorship  was  over,  he  used  to  exclaim 
to  his  tormentors  : — 

This  is  no  flattery  ;  these  are  the  counsellors 
That  feelingly  persuade  me  what  I  am. 

His  merciless  Zoilus  brought  a  volume  of  the  work  in  his 
pocket,  and  read  a  passage  of  it  aloud.  Yet,  Linley  never 
betrayed  the  irritable  sulkiness  of  a  roasted  author,  but  took 


Ii8  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

the  pleasantries  that  played  around  him  with  impertivrhable 
good-humour :  he  laughed  heartily  at  his  own  platitudes, 
and  thus  the  very  martyr  of  the  joke  became  its  auxiliary. 
Ijnley  is  said  to  have  furnished  Moore,  for  his  Life  of 
Sheridan,  with  the  common-place  books  in  which  his  brother- 
in-law  was  wont  to  deposit  his  dramatic  sketches,  and  to 
bottle  up  his  jokes  he  had  collected  for  future  use ;  but 
many  pleasantries  of  Sheridan  were  deeply  engraved  on  his 
recollection  because  they  had  been  practised  upon  himself, 
or  upon  his  brother  Hozy  (as  Sheridan  called  him),  who  was 
an  unfailing  butt,  when  he  was  disposed  to  amuse  himself 
with  a  practical  jest. 

Another  excellent  brother  was  Dick  Wilson,  whose 
volcanic  complexion  had  for  many  years  been  assuming 
deeper  and  deeper  tints  of  carnation  over  the  port-wine  of 
the  Society.  Dick  was  a  wealthy  solicitor,  and  many  years 
Lord  Eldon's  "  port-wine-loving  secretary."  His  •  fortunes 
were  very  singular.  He  was  first  steward  and  solicitor,  and 
afterwards  residuary  legatee,  of  Lord  Chedworth.  He  is 
said  to  have  owed  the  favour  of  this  eccentric  nobleman  to 
the  legal  acumen  he  displayed  at  a  Richmond  water-party; 
A  pleasant  lawn,  under  a  spreading  beech-tree  in  one  of 
Mr.  Cambridge's  meadows,  was  selected  for  tlie  dinner ;  but 
on  pulling  to  the  shore,  behold  a  board  in  the  tree  pro- 
claiming, "All  persons  landing  and  dining  here  will  be 
prosecuted  according  to  law."  Dick  Wilson  contended  that 
the  prohibition  clearly  applied  only  to  the  joint  act  of 
"  landing  and  dining  "  at  the  particular  spot.  If  the  party 
landed  a  few  yards  lower  down,  and  then  dined  under  the 
tree,  only  one  member  of  the  condition  would  be  broken  ; 
which  would  be  no  legal  infringement,  as  the  prohibition — 
being  of  two  acts,  linked  by  a  copulative — was  not  severable. 
This  astute  argument  carried  the  day.  The  party  dined 
under  Mr.  Cambridge's  beech-tree,  and,  it  is  presumed,  were 
not  "prosecuted  according  to  law."  At  all  events,  Lord 
Chedworth,  who  was  one  of  the  diners,  was  so  charmed  with 


THE  BEEF-STEAK  SOCIE  TV.  119 

Dick's  ready  application  of  his  law  to  practice,  that  he  com- 
mitted to  him  the  management  of  his  large  and  accumulating 
property. 

Dick  stood  the  fire  of  the  Steaks  with  good  humour ;  but 
he  was  sometimes  unmercifully  roasted.  He  had  just  re- 
turned from  Paris,  when  Arnold,  with  great  dexterity,  drew 
him  into  some  Parisian  details,  with  great  glee  j  for  Dick 
was  entirely  innocent  of  the  French  language.  Thus,  in 
enumerating  the  dishes  at  a  French  table,  he  thought  the 
3m/evards delicious;  whenCobbecalledout,  "Dick,it  was  well 
they  did  not  serve  you  at  the  Palais  Royal  for  sauce  to  yoiir 
boulevards"  The  riz  de  vcan  he  called  2.  rendezvous ;  and 
he  could  not  bear  partridges  served  up  in  'shoes ;  and  once, 
intending  to  ask  for  a  pheasant,  he  desu-ed  the  waiter  to 
bring  him  ■&  paysannc  !  Yet,  Dick  was  shrewd  :  calling  one 
day  upon  Cobbe  at  the  India  House,  Dick  was  left  to  him- 
self for  a  few  minutes,  when  he  was  found  by  Cobbe,  on  his 
return,  exploring  a  map  of  Asia  suspended  on  the  wall :  he 
was  measuring  the  scale  of  it  with  compasses,  and  then 
applying  them  to  a  large  tiger,  which  the  artist  had  intro- 
duced as  one  of  the  animals  of  the  country.  "  By  heavens, 
Cobbe,"  exclaimed  Dicli,  "  I  should  never  have  believed  it ! 
Surely,  it  must  be  a  mistake.  Observe  now^ — here,"  pointing 
to  the  tiger,  "  here  is  a  tiger  that  measures  two-and-twenty 
leagues.     By  heavens,  it  is  scarcely  credible." 

Another  of  the  noteworthy  Steaks  was  "Old  Walsh," 
commonly  called  "  the  Gentle  Shepherd  :"  he  began  life  as 
a  servant  of  the  celebrated  Lord  Chesterfield,  and  accom- 
panied his  natural  son,  Philip  Stanhope,  on  the  grand  tour, 
as  valet :  after  this  he  was  made  a. Queen's  messenger,  and 
subsequently  a  Commissioner  of  Customs ;  he  was  a  good- 
natured  butt  for  the  Society's  jokes.  Rowland  Stephenson, 
the  banker,  was  another  Beef-Steaker,  then  respected  for  his 
clear  head  and  warm  heart,  years  before  he  became  branded 
as  a  forger.  At  the  same  table  was  a  capitalist  of  very  high 
character — ^William  Joseph  Denison,  who  sat  many  years  in 


120  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

Parliament  for  Surrey,  and  died  a  inillionnaire :  he  was  a 
man  of  cultivated  tastes,  and  long  enjoyed  the  circle  of  the 
Steaks. 

We  have  seen  how  the  corner-stone  of  the  sublime  So- 
ciety was  laid.  The  gridiron  upon  which  Rich  had  broiled 
his  solitary  steak,  being  insufficient  in  a  short,  time  for  the 
supernumerary  guests,  the  gridiron  was  enshrined  as  one  of 
the  tutelary  and  household  emblems  of  the  Club.  For- 
tunately, it  escaped  the  fire  which  consumed  Covent  Garden 
Theatre  in  1808,  when  the  valuable  stock  of  wine  of  the 
Club  shared  the  fate  of  the  building  ;  but  the  gridiron  was 
saved.  "  In  that  fire,  alas  !"  says  the  author  of  71ie  Clubs  of 
London,  "  perished  the  original  archives  of  the  Society. 
The  lovers  of  wit  and  pleasantry  have  much  to  deplore  in 
that  loss,  inasmuch  as  not  only  the  names  of  many  of  the 
early  members  are  irretrievably  gone,  but  what  is  more  to  be 
regretted,  some  of  their  happiest  effiisions ;  for  it  was  then 
customary  to  register  in  the  weekly  records  anything  of 
striking  excellence  that  had  been  hit  off  in  the  course  of  the 
evening.  This,  however,  is  certain,  that  the  Beaf-steaks, 
from  its  foundation  to  the  present  hour,  has  been — 

'  native  to  famous  wits 
Or  hospitable.' 

That  as  guests  or  members,  persons  distinguished  for 
rank,  and  social  and  convivial  powers,  have,  through  suc- 
cessive generations,  been  seated  at  its  festive  board — Bubb 
Dodington,  Aaron  Hill ;  Hoadley,  author  of  The  Suspicious 
Husband,  and  Leonidas  Glover,  are  only  a  few  names 
snatched  from  its  early  list.  Sir  Peere  Williams,  a  gen- 
tleman of  high  birth  and  fashion,  who  had  already  shone 
in  Parliament,  was  of  the  Club.  Then  came  the  days  of 
Lord  Sandwich,  Wilkes,  Bonnell  Thornton,  Arthur  Murphy, 
Churchill,  and  Tickell.  This  is  generally  quoted  as  the 
golden  period  of  the  Society."  Then  there  were  the  Col- 
mans  and  Garrick;  and  John  Beard,  the  singer,  was 
president  of  the  Club  in  1784. 


THE  BEEF-STEAK  SOCIETY.  121 

The  number  of  the  Steaks  was  increased  from  twenty- 
four  to  twenty-five,  in  1785,  to  admit  the  Prince  of  Wales, 
an  event  of  sufficient  moment  to  find  record  in  the  Anniial 
Register  of  the  year,:  "  On  Saturday,  the  14th  of  May,  the 
Prince  of  Wales  was  admitted  a  member  of  the.  Beef-steak 
Club.  His  Royal  Highness  having  signified  his  wish  of  be- 
longing to  that  Society,  and  there  not  being  a  vacancy,  it  was 
proposed  to  make  him  an  honorary  member ;  but  that  being 
declined  by  his  Royal  Highness,  it  was  agreed  to  increase 
the  number  from  twenty-four  to  twenty-five,  in  consequence 
of  which  His  Royal  Highness  was  unanimously  elected. 
The  Beef-steak  Club  has  been  instituted  just  fifty  years,  and 
consists  of  some  of  the  most  classical  and  sprightly  wits  in 
the  kingdom.''  It  is  curious  to  find  the  Society  here 
termed  a  Club,  contrary  to  its  desire,  for  it  stickled  much 
for  the  distinction. 

Arthur  Murphy,  the  dramatist,  John  Kemble,  the  Dukes 
of  Clarence  and  of  Sussex,  were  also  of  the  Steaks  :  these 
princes  were  both  attached  to  the  theatre ;  the  latter  to  one 
of  its  brightest  ornaments,  Dorothy  Jordan. 

Charles,  Duke  of  Norfolk,  was  another  celebrity  of  the 
Steaks,  and  frequently  met  here  the  Prince  of  Wales.  The 
Duke  was  a  great  gourmand,  and,  it  is  said,  used  to  eat  his 
dish  of  fish  at  a  neighbouring  tavern — the  Piazza,  or  the 
Grand — and  then  join  the  Steaks.  His  fidus  Achates 
was  Charles  Morris,  the  laureate-lyrist  of  the  Steaks.  Their 
attachment  was  unswerving,  notwithstanding  it  has  been 
impeached.  The  poet  kept  better  hours  than  his  ducal 
friend :  one  evening,  Morris  having  left  the  dinner-table 
early,  a  friend  gave  some  significant  hints  as  to  the  im- 
provement of  Morris's  fortunes :  the  Duke  grew  generous 
over  his  wine,  and  promised ;  the  performance  came,  and 
Morris  lived  to  the  age  of  ninety-three  to  enjoy  the  realization. 

The  Duke  took  the  chair  when  the  cloth  was  removed. 
It  was  a  place  of  dignity,  elevated  some  steps  above  the 
table,  and   decorated  with   the    insignia  of   the   Society, 


122  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

amongst  which  was  suspended  Garrick's  Ranger  hat.  As 
the  clock  struck  five,  a  curtain  drew  up,  discovering  the 
kitchen,  in  which  the  cooks  were  seen  at  work,  through 
a  sort  of  grating,  with  this  inscription  from  Macbeth ': —  ■ 

If  it  were  done,  when  'tis  done,  then  'twere  well 
It  were  done  quickly. 

The  steaks  themselves  were  in  the  finest  order,  in 
devouring  them  no  one  surpassed  His  Grace  of  Norfolk  : 
two  or  three  steaks,  fragrant  from  the  gridiron,  vanished, 
and  when  his  labours  were  thought,  to  be  over,,  he  might' te 
seen  rubbing  a  clean  plate  with  a  shalot  for  the  reception  of 
another.  A  pause  of  ten  minutes  ensued,  and  His  Grace 
rested  upon  his  knife  and  fork :  he  was  tarrying  for  a  steak  from 
the  middle  of  the  rump  of  beef,  where  lurks  a  fifth  essence, 
the  perfect  ideal  of  tenderness  and  flavour.  The  Duke 
was  an  enormous  eater.  He  would  often  eat  between 
three  and  four  pounds  of  beef-steak  ;  and  after  that  take  a 
Spanish  onion  and  beet-root,  chop  them  together  with  oil 
and  vinegar,  and  eat  them.  After  dinner,  the  Duke  was 
ceremoniously  ushejred  to  the  chair,  and  invested  with  ah 
orange-coloured  ribbon,  to  which  a  small  silver  gridiron* 
was  appended.  In  the  chair  he  comported  himself  with 
urbanity  and  good  humour.  Usually,  the  president  was 
the  target,  at  which  all  the  jests  and  witticisms  were  fired, 
but  moderately ;  for  though  a  characteristic  equality  reigned 
at  the  Steaks,  the  influences  of  rank  and  station  were  felt 
there,  arid  courtesy  stole  insensibly  upon  those  who  at  other 
times  were  merciless  assailants  on  the  chair.  The  Duke's 
conversation  abounded  with  anecdote,  terseness  of  phrase, 
and  evidence  of  extensive  reading,  which  were  rarely  im- 
paired by  the  sturdy  port-wine  of  the  Society.  Charles 
Morris,  the  bard  of  the  Club,  sang  one  or  two  of  his  o>vn 


*  At  tlie  sale  of  the  curiosities  belonging  to  Mr.  Harly,  the  comedian, 
at  Gower-street,  in  November,  1858,  a  silver  gridiron,  worn  by  a  mem- 
ber of  the  Steaks,  was  sold  for  \l.  y. 


•     THE  BEEF-STEAK  SOCIETY.  123. 

songs,  the  quintessence  of  convivial  mirth  and  fancy ;  at 
nine  o'clock  the  Duke  quitted  the  chair,  and  was  succeeded 
by  Sir  John  Hippisley,  who  had  a  terrible  time  of  it :  a 
storm  of  "arrowy  sleet  and  iron  shower"  whistled  from  all 
points  in  his  ears  :  all  rules  of  civilized  warfare  seemed 
suspended,  and  even  the  new  members  tried  their  first  timid 
essays  upon  the  Baronet,  than  whom  no  man  was  more 
prompt  to  attack  others.  He  quitted  the  Society  in  conse- 
quence of  an  odd  adventure  which  really  happened  to  him, 
and  which,  being  related  with  malicious  fidelity  by  one  of 
the  Steaks,  raised  such  a  shout  of  laughter  at  the  Baronet's 
expense  that  he  could  no  longer  bear  it.  Here  is  the  story. 
Sir  John  was  an  intelligent  man ;  Windham  used  to  say  of 
him  that  he  was  very  near  being  a  clever  man.  He  was  a 
sort  of  busy  idler;  and  his  ruling  passion  was  that  of 
visiting  remarkable  criminals  in  prison,  and  obtaining  their 
histories  from  their  own  lips.  A  murder  had  been  com- 
mitted, by  one  Patch,  upon  a  Mr.  Bligh,  at  Deptford  ;  the 
evidence  was  circumstantial,  but  the  inference  of  his  guilt 
was  almost  irresistible;  still  many  well-disposed  persons 
doubted  the  man's  guilt,  and  amongst  them  was  Sir  John, 
who  tlioiight  the  anxiety  could  only  be  relieved  by  Patch's 
confession.  For  this  end.  Sir  John  importuned  the  poor 
wretch  incessantly,  but  in  vain.  Patch  persisted  in  asserting 
his  innocence,  till  wearied  with  Hippisle/s  applications,  he 
assured  the  Baronet  thkt  he  would  reveal  to  him,  on  the 
scaffold,  all  that  he  knew  of  Mr.  Bligh's  death.  Flattered 
with  being  made  the  depository  of  this  mysterious  commu- 
nication. Sir  John  mounted  the  scaffold  with  Patch,  and  was 
seen  for  some  minutes  in  close  conference  with  him.  It 
happened  that  a  simple  old  woman  from  the  country  was 
in  the  crowd  at  the  execution.  Her  eyes,  intent  upon  the 
^wful  scene,  were  fixed,  by  an  accidental  misdirection  upon 
Sir  John,  whom  she  mistook  for  the  person  who  was  about 
to  be  executed;  and  not  waiting  till  the  criminal  was 
actually  turned  off,  she  went  away  with  the  wrong  impres- 


124  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

sion  j  the  peculiar  face,  aiid  above  all,  the  peculiar  nose  (a 
most  miraculous  organ),  of  Hippisley,  being  indelibly  im- 
pressed upon  her  memory.  Not  many  days  after,  the  old 
lady  met  Sir  John  in  Cheapside ;  the  certainty  that  he  was 
Patch  seized  her  so  forcibly  that  she  screamed  out  to  the 
passing  crowd,  "  It's  Patch,  it's  Patch ;  I  saw  him  hanged ; 
Heaven  deliver  me  !  " — and  then  fainted.  When  this  incident 
was  first  related  at  the  Steaks,  a  mock  inquest  was  set  on 
foot,  to  decide  whether  Sir  John  was  Patch  or  not,  and 
unanimously  decided  in  the  affirmative. 

Cobb,  Secretary  of  the  East  India  Company,  was  another 
choice  spirit  at  the  Steaks :  once,  when  he  filled  the  vice- 
chair,  he  so  worried  the  poor  president,  an  Alderman,  that  he 
exclaimed,  "  Would  to  Heaven,  I  had  another  vice-president, 
so  that  I  had  a  gentlevian  opposite  to  me  !" — "  Why  should 
you  wish  any  such  thing?"  rejoined  Cobb;  "you  cannot 
be  more  opposite  to  a  gentleman  than  you  are  at  present" 

After  the  fire  at  Covent  Garden,  the  Sublime  Society 
were  re-established  at  the  Bedford,  where  they  met  until 
Mr.  Arnold  had  fitted  up  apartments  for  their  reception  in 
the  English  Opera  House.  The  Steaks  continued  to  meet 
here  until  the  destruction  of  the  Theatre  by  fire,  in  1830 ; 
after  which  they  returned  to  the  Bedford;  and,  upon  the 
re-building  of  the  Lyceum  Theatre,  a  dining-room  was 
again  provided  for  them.  "  The  room  they  dine  in,"  says 
Mr.  Cunningham,  "  a  Uttle  Escurial  in  itself,  is  most  appro- 
priately fitted  up — the  doors,  wainscoting,  and  roof,  of  good 
old  English  oak,  ornamented  with  gridirons  as  thick  as 
Henry  the  Seventh's  Chapel  with  the  portcullis  of  the 
founder.  Everything  assumes  the  shape,  or  is  distinguished 
by  the  representation,  of  their  emblematic  implement,  the 
gridiron.  The  cook  is  seen  at  his  office  through  the  bars 
of  a  spacious  gridiron,  and  the  original  gridiron  of  the 
Society,  (the  survivor  of  two  terrific  fires),  holds  a  con- 
spicuous position  in  the  centre  of  the  ceiling.  Every 
member  has  the  power  of  inviting  a  friend."    The  portraits 


THE  BEEF-STEAK  SOCIETY.  125 

of  several  worthies  of  the  Sublime  Society  were  painted  :  one 
brother  "hangs  in  chain,"  as  Arnold  remarked  in  alluding  to 
the  civic  chain  in  which  he  is  represented ;  it  was  in  allusion 
to  the  toga  in  which  he  is  painted,  that  Brougham,  being 
asked  whether  he  thought  it  a  likeness,  remarked  that  it 
could  not  fail  of  being  like  him,  "  there  was  so  much  of  the^ 
fur  (thief)  about  it." 

The  author  of  the  Clubs  in  London,  who  was  a  member  of 
the  Sublime  Society,  describes  a  right  in  favouring  them,  "a 
brotherhood,  a  sentiment  of  equality.  How  you  would 
laugh  to  see  the  junior  member  emerging  from  the  cellar, 
with  half-a-dozen  bottles  in  a  basket !  I  have  seen  Brougham 
employed  in  this  honourable  diplomacy,  and  executing  it 
with  the  correctness  of  a  butler.  The  Duke  of  Leinster,  in 
his  turn,  took  the  same  duty. 

"  With  regard  to  Brougham,  at  first  siglit  you  would  not 
set  him  down  as  having  a  natural  and  prompt  alacrity  for 
the  style  of  humour  that  prevails  amongst  us.  But  Brougham 
is  an  excellent  member,  and  is  a  remarkable  instance  of  the 
peculiai  influences  of  this  peculiar  Society  on  the  human 
character.  We  took  him  just  as  the  schools  of  philosophy, 
the  bar,  the  senate,  had  made  him.  Literary,  forensic,  and 
parliamentary  habits  are  most  intractable  materials,  you  will 
say,  to  make  a  member  of  the  Steaks,  yet  no  man  has 
imbibed  more  of  its  spirit,  and  he  enters  its  occasional 
gladiatorship  \vith  the  greatest  glee." 

Admirable  were  the  offhand  puns  and  passes,  which, 
though  of  a  legal  character,  were  played  off  by  Bolland, 
another  member  of  the  Society.  Brougham  was  putting 
hypothetically  the  case  of  a  man  convicted  of  felony,  and 
duly  hanged  according  to  law;  but  restored  to  life  by 
medical  appliances;  and  asked  what  would  be  the  man's 
defence  if  again  brought  to  trial.  "  Why,"  returned  Bolland, 
"  it  would  be  for  him  to  plead  a  cord  and  satisfaction." 
["  Accord  and  satisfaction "  is  a  common  plea  in  legal 
practice.]     The   same    evening  Tt-ere    "Iked    over    Dean 


t26 


CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 


Swift's  ingenious  but  grotesque  puns  upon  the  names  of 
antiquity,  such  as  Ajax,  Archimedes,  and  others  equally 
well  known.  BoUand  remarked  that  when  Swift  w^as  look- 
ing out  for  those  humorous  quibbles,  it  was  singular  that  it 
should  never  have  occurred  to  him  that  among  the  shades 
that  accost  ^neas  in  the  sixth  book  of  the  ^neid,  there  was 
a  Scotchman  of  the  name  of  Hugh  Forbes.  Those  who 
had  read  Virgil  began  to  stare.  "It  is  quite  plain,"  said 
Bolland  :  "  the  ghost  exclaims,  '  Olim  Euphorbus  eram.' " 

The  following  are  the  first  twenty-four  names  of  the  Club, 
copied  from  their  book:* — 


George  Lambert. 
William  Hogarth. 
John  Rich. 
Lacy  Ryan. 
Ebenezer  Forrest. 
Robert  Scott. 
Thomas  Chapman. 
Dennis  Delane. 
John  Thomhill. 
Francis  Niveton. 
Sir  William  Saunderson. 
Richard  Mitchell. 

The  following  were  subsequent 

Francis  Hayman. 
Theo.  Gibber. 
Mr.  Saunders  Welsh. 
Thomas  Hudson. 
John  Churchill. 
Mr.  Williamson. 

In  1805  the  members  were — 
Sir  J.  Boyd. 
Estcourt. 

J.  Travanion,  jun. 
Earl  of  Suffolk. 
Crossdill. 

J.  Kemble,  expelled  for  his 
mode  of  conduct. 


John  Boson. 
Henry  Smart. 
John  Huggins. 
Hugh  Watson. 
William  Huggins. 
Edmund  Tuffnell. 
Thomas  Salway. 
Charles  Neale. 
Charles  Latrobe. 
Alexander  Gordon. 
William  Tathall. 
Gabriel  Hunt. 

members : — 

Mr.  Beard. 
Mr.  Wilkes. 
Lord  Sandwicli, 
Prince  of  Wales. 
Mr.  Havard. 
Chas.  Price. 

Prince  of  Wales, 

Charles  Howard,  Duke  of 

Norfolk. 
Mingay. 
Johnson. 
Scudamore. 
Haworth. 


*  TTiis  and  the  subsequent  lists  have  been  printed  by  Mr.  John 
Green. 


TI1£  BEEF-STEAK  SOCIE TV.  1 27 

November  6th,  1814  :-t- 

Stephenson.  Wilson. 

Cobb.  Ellis. 

Richards.  Walsh. 

Sir  J.  Scott,  Bart.  Linley. 

Foley.  Duke  of  Norfolk. 

Arnold.  Mayo. 

Braddyll.  Duke  of  Sussex. 

Nettleshipp.  Morrice. 

Middleton.  Bolland. 

Denison.  Lord  Grantley. 

Johnson.  Peter  Moore. 

Scudamore.  Dunn,  Treasurer  of  Drury 

Nixon.  Lane  Theatre. 

T.  Scott. 

When  the  Club  dined  at  the  Shakspeare,  m  the  room  with 
the  Lion's  head  over  the  mantelpiece,  these  popular  actors 
were  members : — 

Lewis.  Pope. 

Irish  Johnson.  Holman. 

Munden.  Simmonds. 

Fawcett. 
Formerly,  the  table-cloths  had  gridirons  in  damask  on 
them;  their  drinking-glasses  bore  gridirons;  as  did  the  plates 
also.  Among  the  presents  made  to  the  Society  are  a  punch- 
ladle,  from  Barrington  Bradshaw;  Sir  John  Boyd,  six  spoons; 
mustard  pot,  by  John  Trevanion,  M.P. ;  two  dozen  water- 
plates  and  eight  dishes,  given  by  the  Duke  of  Sussex ;  cruet- 
stand,  given  by  W.  Bolland;  vinegar-glasses,  by  Thomas 
Scott.  Lord  Suffolk  gave  a  silver  cheese-toaster ;  toasted  or 
stewed  cheese  being  the  wind-up  of  the  dinner. 

Captain  Morris,    . 

THE  BARD  OF  THE  BEEF-STEAK  SOCIETY. 

Hitherto  we  have  mentioned  but  incidentally  Charles 
Morris,  the  Nestor  and  the  laureate  of  the  Steaks ;  but  he 
merits  fullei  record.  "  Alas  !  poor  Yorick  !  we  knew  him 
well;"  we    remember  his   "political   vest,"   to   which   he 


128  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON: 

addressed  a  sweet  lyric — ^"  The  Old  Whig  Poet  to  his  Old 
Buff  Waistcoat."*  Nor  can  we  forget  his  courteous  manner 
and  his  gentlemanly  pleasantry,  and  his  unflagging  cheerful- 
ness, long  after  he  had  retired  to  enjoy  the  delights  of  rural 
life,  despite  the  early  prayer  of  his  racy  verse  : — 

In  town  let  me  live  then,  in  town  let  me  die ; 
For  in  truth  I  can't  relish  the  country,  not  I. 
If  one  must  have  a  villa  in  summer  to  dwell, 
Oh  !  give  me  the  sweet  shady  side  of  Pall  Mall. 

This  "  sweet  shady  side"  has  almost  disappeared  ;  and  of 
the  palace  whereat  he  was  wont  to  shine,  not  a  trace  remains, 
save  the  name.  Charles  Morris  was  born  of  good  family,  in 
1745,  and  appears  to  have  inherited  a  taste  for  lyric  com- 
position ;  for  his  father  composed  the  popular  song  of  Kitty 
Crowder.  For  half  a  century,  Morris  moved  in  the  first- 
circles  of  rank  and  gaiety  :  he  was  the  "  Sun  of  the  table," 
at  Carlton  House,  as  well  as  at  Norfolk  House ;  and  attach- 
ing himself  politically  as  well  as  convivially  to  his  table 
companions,  he  composed  the  celebrated  ballads  of  "  Billy's 
too  young  to  drive  us,"  and  "  Billy  Pitt  and,  the  Farmer," 
which  were  clever  satires  upon  the  ascendant  politics  of  their 
day.  His  humorous  ridicule  of  the  Tories  was,  however, 
but  ill  repaid  by  the  Whigs  ;  at  least,  if  we  may  trust  the 
Ode  to  the  Buff  Waistcoat,  written  in  1815.  His  "Songs 
Political  and  Convivial,"  many  of  which  were  sung  at  the 
Steaks'  board,  became  very  popular.  In  1830,  we  possessed 
a  copy  of  Ihe  24th  edition,  with  a  portrait  of  the  author,  half- 
masked;  one  of  the  ditties  was  described  to  have  been  "sung 
by  the  Prince  of  Wales  to  a  certain  lady,"  to  the  air  of 
"  There's  a  difference  between  a  Beggar  and  a  Queen  j" 
some  of  the  early  songs  were  condemned  for  their  pruriency, 
and  were  omitted  in  subsequent  editions.  His  best  Ana- 
creontic is  the  song  Ad  Poculum,  for  which  Morris  received 
the  Gold  Cup  from  the  Harmonic  Society: 


*  See  Century  of  Anecdote,  vol.  i.  p.  321. 


United  University  Club,  Pall  Mall. 


Oxford  and  Cambridge  Club,  Pall  Mall. 


CAPTAIN  MORRIS.  129 

Come,  thou  soul-reviving  cup  ; 

Try  thy  healing  art ; 
Stir  the  fancy's,  visions  up, 

And  warm  my  wasted  heart. 
Touch  with  freshening  tints  of  bliss 

Memory's  fading  dream. 
Give  me,  while  thy  lip  I  kiss. 

The  heaven  that's  in  thy  stream. 

As  the  witching  fires  of  wine 

Pierce  through  Time's.past  reign. 
Gleams  of  joy  that  once  were  mine. 

Glimpse  back  on  life  again. 
And  if  boding  terrors  rise 

O'er  my  melting  mind, 
Hope  still  starts  to  clear  my  eyes, 

And  drinks  the  tear  behind. 

Then  life's  wintry  shades  new  drest, 

Fair  as  summer  seem  ; 
Flowers  I  gather  from  my  breast. 

And  sunshine  from  the  stream. 
As  the  cheering  goblets  pass. 

Memory  culls  her  store  ; 
Scatters  sweets  around  my  glass,. 

And  prompts  my  thirst  for  more. 

Far  from  toils  the  great  and  grave 

To  proud  ambition  give. 
My  little  world  kind  Nature  gave. 

And  simply  bade  me  live. 
On  me  she  fix'd  an  humble  art. 

To  deck  the  Muse's  groves. 
And  on  the  nerve  that  twines  my  heart 

The  touch  of  deathless  love. 

Then,  rosy  god,  this  night  let  me 

Thy  cheering,  magic  share  ; 
Again  let  hope-fed  Fancy  see 

Life's  picture  bright  and  fair. 
Oh  !  steal  from  care  my  heart  away. 

To  sip  thy  healing  spring  ; 
And  let  me  taste'that  bliss  to-day 

To-morrow  may  not  bring. 


130  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

The  friendship  of  the  Duke  of  Norfolk  and  Charles 
Morris  extended  far  beyond  the  Steaks  meetings  ;  and  the 
author  of  the  Clubs  of  London  tells  us  by  what  means  the 
Duke's  regard  took  a  more  permanent  form.  It  appears 
that  John  Kemble  had  sat  very  late  at  one  of  the  night 
potations  at  Norfolk-  House.  Charles  Morris  had  just 
retired,  and  a  very  small  party  remained  in  the  dining- 
room,  when  His  Grace  of  Norfolk  began  to  deplore, 
somewhat  pathetically,  the  smallness  of  the  stipend  upon 
which  poor  Charles  was  obliged  to  support  his  family; 
observing,  that  it  was  a  discredit  to  the  age,  that  a  man  who 
had  so  long  gladdened  the  lives  of  so  many  titled  and 
opulent  associates,  should  be  left  to  struggle  with  the 
difficulties  of  an  inadequate  income  at  a  time  of  life  when 
he  had  no  reasonable  hope  of  augmenting  it.  Kemble 
listened  with  great  attention  to  the  Duke's  jeremiade :  but 
after  a  slight  pause,  his  feelings  getting  the  better  of  his 
deference,  he  broke  out  thus,  in  a  tone  of  peculiar  emphasis : — 
"  And  does  your  Grace  sincerely  lament  the  destitute  con- 
dition of  your  friend,  with  whom  you  have  passed  so  many 
agreeable  hours  ?  Your  Grace  has  described  that  condition 
most  feelingly.  But  is  it  possible,  that  the  greatest  Peer  of 
the  realm,  luxuriating  amidst  the  prodigalities  of  fortune, 
should  lament  the  distress  which  he  does  not  relieve  ?  the 
empty  phrase  of  beneyolence^-the  mere  breath  and  vapour 
of  generous  sentiment,  become  no  man ;  they  certainly  are 
unworthy  of  your  Grace.  Providence,  my  Lord  Duke,  has 
placed  you  in  a  station  where  the  wish  to  do  good  and  the 
doing  it  are  the  same  thing.  An  annuity  from  your  over- 
flowing coffers,  or  a  small  nook  of  land,  clipped  from  your 
unbounded  domains,  would  scarcely  be  felt  by  your  Grace ; 
but  you  would  be  repaid,  my  Lord,  with  usury ; — with  tears 
of  grateful  joy ;  with  prayers  warm  from  a  bosom  which 
your  bounty  will  have  rendered  happy." 

Such  was  the  substance  of  Kemble's  harangue.  Jack 
Bannister  used  to  relate  the  incident,  by  ingeniously  putting 


CAPTAIN  MORRIS.  131 

the  speech  into  blank  verse,  or  rather  the  species  of  prose 
into  which  Kemble's  phraseology  naturally  fell  when  he  was 
highly  animated.  But,  however  expressed,  it  produced  its 
effect.  For  though  the  Duke  (the  night  was  pretty  far  gone, 
and  several  bottles  had  been  emptied)'  said  notiiirag-  ^t  the 
time,  but  stared  with  some  astonishment  at  so  unexpected  a 
lecture  J  riot  a  month  elapsed  before  Charles  Morris  was 
invested  with  a  beautiful  retreat  at  Brockham,  in  Surrey, 
upon  the  bank  of  the  river  Mole,  and  at  the  foot  of  the  noble 
range  of  which  Box  Hill  forms  the  most  picturesque  point. 

The  Duke  went  to  his  rest  in  1815.  Morris  continued  to 
be  the  laureate  of  the  Steaks  until  the.  year  1831,  when  he 
thus  bade  adieu,  to  the  Society  in  his  eighty-sixth  year ; — 

Adieu  to  the  world  I  where  I  gratefully  own, 
Few  men  more  delight  or  more  comfort  have  known  : 
To  an  age  far  beyond  mortal  lot  have  I  trod 
The  path  of  pure  health,  that  best  blessing  of  God  ; 
And  so  mildly  devout  Nature  temper'd  my  frame, 
Holy  patience  still  sooth'd  when  Adversity  came  ; 
Thus  vrithmind  ever  cheerful,  and  tongue  never  tired, 
I  sung  the  gay  strains  these  sweet  blessings  inspired ;  ; 
And  by  blmding  light  mirth  with  a  moral-mix'd  stave. 
Won  the  smile  of  the  gay  and  the  nod  of  the  grave. 
But  at  length  the  dull  languor  of  mortal  decay 
Throws  a  weight  on  its  spirit  too  light  for  its  clay  ;     r 
And  the  fancy,  subdued,  as  the  body's  opprest. 
Resigns  the  faint  flights  that  scarce  wake  in  the  breast. 
A  painfiil  memento  that  man  's  not  to  play 
A  game  of  light ffrlly  throughXife's  sober  day  ; 

.    A  just  admonition,  though  viewed  with  regret, 

■     Still  blessedly  offered,  though  thanklessly  met. 
Too  long,  I  perhaps,  like  the  many  who  stray, 
Have  upheld  the  gay  themes  of  the  Bacchanal's  day  ; 
But  at  length  Time  has  brought,  what  it  ever  will  bring, 
A  shade  that  excites  more  to  sigh  than  to  smgii 
In  this  close  of  Life's  chapter,  ye  high-fivour'd  few, 
Take  my  Muse's  last  tribute — this  painful  adieu  1 
Take  my  w3sh,  that  your  bright  social  circle  on  earth 
For  ever  may  flourish  in  concord  and  mirti: 
K   2 


132  CtUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

For  the  long  yeats  of  joy  I  have  shared  at  your  board,  i 

Take  the  thanks  of  my  heart — yirhere  ,they  long  have  been  stored ; 

And  remember,  vi-hen  Time  tolls  my  last  parting  (cnell. 

The  "  old  bard  "  dropp'd  a  tear,  and  then  bade  yfr;— Farewell  1 

In  1835,,  however,  Mprris  revisited  the  Society,  wjio  then 
presentedhim  with  a  large  silver  bowl,,appropriatelyinscribed, 
as  a  testimonial  of-  their  a^ectionate  ssteem  ;  aivd  th.e  vene- 
rable bard  thus  addressed  the  brotherhood  : — 

Well,  I'm  come,  my  dear  fMends,'  your  kind  wish  to  obey. 

And  drive,  by  light  mirth,  all  Life's  shadows  away ; 

And  turn  the  heart's  sighs  to  the  throbbings  of  joy. 

And  a  grave  aged  man  to  a  merry  old  boy. 

'Tis  a  bold  transformation,  a  daring  design. 

And  not  past  the  power  of  Friendship  and  Wine ;  '     '     ' 

And  I  trust  that  e'en  yet  this  warm  mixture  will  raise 

A  brisk  spark  of  light  o'er  the  shade  of  my  days. 

Shortly  after  this  effusion,  he  thus  alluded  to  the  treasured 
gift  of  the  Society  :— 

When  my  spirits  are  low,  for  relief  and  delight, 

I  still  place  your  splendid  Memorial  in  sight ; 

And  call  to  my  Muse,  when  care  strives  to  pursue, 

"Bring  the  Steaks  to  my  Memory  and  the' Bowl  to  my  view." 

When  brought,  at  its  sight  all  the  blue  devils  fly, 

And  a  world  of  gay  visions  rise  bright  to  my  eye  ;      . 

Cold  Fear  Shuns  the  cup  where  warm  Meinory  flows  ; 

And  Grief,  shamed  by  Joy,  hides  his  budget  of  Woes. 

'Tis  a  pure  holy  fount,  where  for  ever  I  find 

A  sure  double  charm  for  the  Body  and  Mind  ; 

For  I  feel  while  I'm  cheer'd  by  the  drop  that  I  lift,       r 

I'm  Blest  by  the  Motive  that  hallows  the  Gift. 

How  nicely  teiftpered  is  this  chorus  to  our  Bard's  "  Life's 

a  Fable:"— 

Then  roll  aloi^, ,  my  lyric  song ; 

It  seasons  well  the  table. 
And  tells:  a  truth  to  Age  and  Youth, 

That  Life's  a  fleeting  fable. 

Thus  Mirth  and  Woe  the  brighter  show 

From  rosy  wine's  reflection ;  - '  ^ 


CAPTAIN  MORRIS.  133 

From  first  to  last,  this  truth  hath  past-;- 
; ,  'Twas  wia4e  for  Care's  correction. 

Noyr  what  those  think  who  water  drinlc,. 

Of  these  old  rules  of  Horafce, 
I  sha Vt  now  Show  ;  but  this  I  know,    • 

His  rules  do  well  for -^"n"". 
Old  Horace,  when  he  dippd  his  pen, 
.    'Tw^s  wine  he  had  resort  to  ; 
He  chose  for  use  Falernian  juice,. 

As  I  choose  old  Oporto  ; 
At  everjr  boiit  an  odecSme  out,     "  ' 

Yet  Bacchus  kept  him  twinkling  ; 
As  well  aware  more  .fir^  was  there. 

Which  wa^itfd  but  the  sprinkling. 

At  Biockham,  Mdn;i?  "drank  thei  pure  pleasures  of  the 
rural  life,"  long  after  many  a  gay  Ijght  of  his  own  time  had 
flickered  out,  and  becpme^almost  forgotten.  At  length,  his 
course  ebbed  away,  July  11,  1838,  in  his  ninety'third  year; 
his,  illness,  which  was  only  of  four  days,  was  internal  inflam- 
mation. The  attainment  qf  so  great  an  age,  and  the 
recollection  of*  Morris's  associations,  show  him  to  have  pre- 
sented  a  rare  combmation  of  mirth  and  prudence.  He 
retained  his  gaieti  de  cmur  tp  the  last ;  so  that  with  equal 
truth  he  remonstrated : 

'  When  Life  charms' my  heart,  must  I  Wndly  be  told, 
.  J.'m  too  gay  and  too  happy  for  one  that's  so  old  ? 

The  venerable  Batd's  remains  rest  near  the  east  end  of 
his  parish  church  of  Betchwortb,  in  the  burial  ground  ;  the 
grave  is  simply -marked  by  a  head  and  foot-stone,  with  an 
inscription  of  three  or  -four  lines  :•  he  who  had  sung  the 
praises  of  so  many  choice  spririts,  has  not  here  a  stanza  to 
his  own  memory :  such  is,  to  some  extent,  the  natural 
sequitur  with  men  who  outlive:  their  companions.  Morris 
was;  staid  and  grave  in  his  general  deportment.  Moore,  in 
bis  Diary,  has  this  odd  note  :  "  Lin<31ey  describes  Colman 
at  ■  the .  Beefsteak  Club  quite  drunk,  making  extraordinary 
noise  while  Captain  Morris  was  singing,  which  disconcerted 


134  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

the  latter  (who,  strange  to  say,  is  a  very  grave,  steady 
person)  considerably."  Yet,  Morris  could  unbend,  witii 
great  simplicity  and  feeling.  We  have  often  met  him,  in 
his  patriarchal  "blue  and  buff"  (blue  coat  and  buff  waist- 
coat), in  his  walks  about  the  lovely  country  in  which  he 
resided.  Coming,  one  day,  into  the  bookseller's  shop,  at 
Dorking,  there  chanced  to  be  deposited  a  pianoforte ;  when 
the  old  Bard  having  looked  around  him,  to  see  there  were 
no  strangers  present,  sat  down  to  the  instrument,  and  played 
and  sang  with  much  spirit  the  air  of  "  The  girl  I  left  behind 
me :"  yet  he  was  then  past  his  eightieth  year. " 

Morris's  ancient  and  rightful  office  at  the  Steaks  was  to 
make  the  ^unch,  and  it  was  amusing  to  see  Jiim  at  his 
laboratory  at  the  sideboard,  stocked  with  the  various  pro- 
ducts that  enter  into  the  composition  of  that  nectareous 
rtiixture :  then  smacking  an  elementary  glass  or  two,  and 
giving  a  significant' nod,  the  fiat,  of  its  excellence;  and 
what  could  exceed  the  ecstasy  with  which  he  filled  the 
glasses  that  thronged  around  the' bowl;  joying  over  its 
mantlinjg  beauties,  and.  distributing  the  fascinating  draught 

That  flames  and  dances  in  its  crystal  bound  ? 

"  Well  has  our  laureate  earned  his  wreath,"  (says  the  author 
of  The  Clubs  of  London,  who  was  often  a  participator  in 
these  delights).  "At  that  table,  his  best  songs  have  been 
s;j.ngj  for  that  table  his  best  songs  were  written.  His 
allegiance  has  been  undivided.  Neither  hail,  nor  shower, 
nor  snowstorm  have  kept  him  away :  no  engagement,  no 
invitation  seduced  him  from  it  I  have  seen  him  there, 
'  outwatching  the  bear,'  in  his  seventy- eighth  year;  for  as 
yet  nature  had  given  no  signal  of  decay  in  frame  or  faculty ; 
but  you  saw  him  in  a  green  and  -vigorous  old  age,  tripping 
mirthfully  along  the  downhUl  of  existence,  without  languor, 
or  gout,  or  any  of  the  privileges  exacted  by  time  for  the 
mournful  privilege  of  living.     His  face  is  still:  resplendent 


BEEFSTEAK  CLUBS.  135 

with  cheerfulness.     'Die    when    you    will,  Charles,'   said 
Curran  to  him,  '  you  will  die  in  your  youth.'" 

Beef-Steak  Clubs. 

There  are  other  Beef-steak  Clubs  to  be  chronicled; 
Pynej  in  his  rF;«^  and  Walnuts,  says  :  "  At  the  same  time 
the  social  Club  flourished  in  England,  and  about  the  yeai 
1 749,  a  Beef-steak  Club  was  established  at  the  Theatre  Royal, 
Dublin,  of  which  the  celebrated  Mts.  Margaret  Woffiiigton 
was  president.  It  was  begun  by  Mr.  Sheridan,  but  on  a 
very  different  plaii  to  that  in  London,  no  theatrical  per- 
former, save  on&  female,  being  admitted;  and  though  eallea 
a  Club,  the  manager  alone  bore  all  the  expenses.  The 
plan  was,  by  making  a  list  of  about  fifty  or  sixty  persons, 
chiefly  noblemen  and  members  of  Parliament,  who  were 
invited.  Usually  about  half  that  number  attended,  and 
dined  in  the  manager's  apartment  in  the  theatre.  There 
was  no  female  adniitted  but  this  Peg' Wcffington,  so  d^nomi- 
tiated  by  all  her  contemporaries,  who  was  seated  in  agreat 
chair  at  the  head  of  the  table,  and  elected  president  for  the 
season.  • 

"'It  will  readily  be  believed,'  says  Mr. -Victor,-  in  his 
History  of  the  Theatres,  who  was  joint  proprietor  of  the 
house,  '  that  a  club  where  there  were  good  accommodations, 
such  a  lovely  p-esident,  full  of  wit  and  spirit,  and  nothing  to 
pay,  must  soon  grow  remarkably  fashionable.'  It  did  so  ; 
but  we  find  it  subsequently  caused  the  theatre  to"  be  p'uUed 
to  pieces  about  the  inanager's  head. 

"Mr.  Victor  says  of  Mrs.  Margaret,  "she  possessed 
captivating  charms  as  a  jovial,  witty  bottle  companion,  but 
few  remaining  as  a  mere  female.'  We  have  Dr.  Johnsbii's 
testiinony,  however,  who  had  often  gossipped  with  Mrs. 
Margaret  in  the  green-room  at  old  Drury,  more  in  the  lady's 
favour. 

"This  author  (Victor)  says,  speaking  of  the  Beef-Steak i 


136  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

Club,  'It  was  a  dub  of  ancient  institution- in  every  theatre 
when  the  principal  performers  dined  one  day  in  the  week 
together  (generally  Saturday),  and  authors  and  other  geniuses 
were  admitted  members.'" 

The  Club  in  Ivy-lane,  of  which  Dr.  Johnson  was  a 
member,  was  joriginally  a  Beef-s,teak  Club, .  , , 

There  was  also  a  political  Club,  called  "  the  Rump  Steak, 
or, Liberty  Club,"  in  existence  in,  1733-4.  .  The  members 
were  in  ea,ger  opposition  to,  Sir  Robert  .Walpole. 

At  the  Bell  TayerUj  Church-row,  Houndsditch,  was  held 
the  Beef-steak  Club,  instituted  by  Mr.  Beard,  Mr.  Dunstall, 
Mr.  Woodward,  Stoppalear, ,  Bencroft,  Qifford,  etc. — -See 
Memoirs  of  Charles  Lee  Lewis,  .yo\.  ii.  p..  1,96.  ,  - . 

Club  at  Tom's  Cofifee-house. 

Covent-garden  has  lost  many  of  its  hpuses  "  studded  with 
anecdote  and  history;"  and  tlie  mutations  among  what 
Mx.  Thackeray  affectionately  called  its  "rich  cluster  of 
brown  taverns  "  are  sundry  and  manifest.  Its  coffee-houses 
proper  have  almost  disappeaxed,  even  in  name.  Yet,  in 
the  last  century,  in  one  short  street  of  Covent-Gardeft — 
Russell-street — flourished  three  of  the  most  celebrated 
coffee-houses  in  the  metropolis  :  Will's,  Button's,  and  Tom's. 
The  reader  need  not  be  reminded  of  Will's,  with  Dryden, 
the  Tatler  apd  Spiectator,  a,nA  its  wits'  room  on  the  first 
floor ;  or  Button's,  with  its  lion's  head  letter-box,  and  the 
young  poets  in  the  back  room.  Tom's,  No.  17,  on  the 
iiorth  side  of  Russell-street,  and  of  a  somewhat  later  date, 
was  taken  down  in  1865.  The  premises  remained  with  but 
little  alteration,  long  after  they  ceased  to  be  a  coffee-house. 
It  was  named  after  Its  origina;l  proprietor,  Thomas  West, 
who,  Nqv.  26,  1722,  threw  himself,  in  a  delirium,  from  the 
second-floor  .window  into  the  street,  and  died  immediately 
(Historical  Register  for  r722).  The  upper  portion  of  the 
premises  was  the  coffee-house,  under  which  lived  T.  Lewi's, 
the  bookseller,  the  original  pubhsher,  in  r7ii,  of  Pope's 


CLUB  AT  TOM'S  COFFEE-HOUSE.  137 

Essay  on  Criticism.  The  usual  frequenters  upstairs  may  be 
judged  of  by  the  following  passage  in  the  Journey  through 
England,  first  edit.,  17 14  : — "After  the  play,  the  best  com^ 
pany  generally  go  to  Tom's  and  Will's  coffee-houses,  near 
adjoining,  where  there  is  playing  at  piquet  and  the  best 
conversation  till  midnight.  Here  you  will  see  blue  and 
green  ribbons,  with  stars,  sitting  familiarly  and  talking  with 
the  same  freedom  as  if  they  had  left  their  quality  and 
degrees  of  distance  at  home ;  and  a  stranger  tastes  with 
pleasure  the  universal  liberty  of  speech  of  the  English 
nation.  And  in  all  the  coffee-houses  you  have  not  only  the 
foreign  prints,  but  several  English  ones,  with  the  foreign 
occurrences,  besides  papers  of  morality  and  party  disputes." 
Such  were  the  Augustan  delights  of,  a  memorable  coffee- 
house of  the  reign  of  Queen  Anne.  Of  this  period  is  a 
recollection  of  Mr.  Grignon,  sen.,  having  seen  the  "balcony 
of  Tom's  crowded  with  npjjlemen  in  their  stars  and  garters, 
drinking  their  tea  and  coffee  exposed  to  the  people."  We 
find  an  entry  in  Walpole's  Letters,  1745  : — "A  gentlenian,  I 
don't  know  who,  the  other  night  at  Tom's  coffee-house,  said, 
on  Lord  Baltimore  refusing  to  corne  into  the  Admiralty 
because  Lord  Vere  Beaucjerk  had  tiie  pi;ecedence,  '  it  put  hirti 
in  mind  of  Pinkethman's  petition  in  the  Spectator,  where  he 
complains  that  formerly  he  used  to  act  second  chair  in  "  Dio- 
cletian," but  now  he  was  reduced  to  dance  fifth  flower-pot.' " 
In  1764  there  appears  to  have  been  formed  here,  by  a 
guinea  subscription,  a  Club  of  nearly  700  members — the 
nobility,  foreign  ministers,  gentry,  and  men  of  genius  of  the 
age ;  the  large  room  on  the  first  floor  being  the  card-room. 
The  Club  flourished,  so  that  in  1768,  "having  considerably 
enlarged  itself  of  late,"  Thomas  Haines,  the  then  proprietor, 
took  in  the  front  room  of  the  next  house  westward  as  a 
coffee-room.  The  front  room  of  No.  17  was  then  appro- 
priated exclusively  as  a  card-room  for  the  subscription  club, 
each  member  paying  one  guinea  annually;  the  adjoining 
apartment  being  used  as  a  conversation-room.     The  sub- 


138  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

scription-books  are  before  us,  and  here  we  find  in  the  long 
list  .the  names  of ,  Sir  Thonias  Robinson,  Bart.,  who  was 
designated  "  Long  Sir  Thomas  Robinson,"  to  distinguish  him 
from  his  namesake,  Sir,  Thomas  Robinson,  created  Lord 
Grantham  in  1761.  "Long  Tom,"  as  the  former  was 
familiarly  called,  was  a  Commissioner  of  Excise  and 
Governor  of  Barbadoes.  He  was  a  sad  bore,  especially  to 
the  Duke  of,  Newcastle,  the  minister,  who  resided  in 
Lincoln's  Inn  Fields.  However,  he  gave  rise  to  some 
smart  things.  Lord  Chesterfield  being  asked  by, the  latter 
Baronet  to  write  some  verses  upon  him,  immediately 
produced  this  epigram  : — 

Unlike  my  subject  now  shall:be  my  song, 
It  shall  lie  wittyi  and  it  shan't  be  long. 

Long  Sir  Thomas  distinguished  himself  in  this  odd 
manner.  When  pur  Sovereign  had  not  dropped  the  folly 
of  calling  himself  "  King  of  France,"  and  it  was  customary 
at  the  Coronation  of  an  EngUsh  Sovereign  to  have  fictitious 
Dukes  of  Aquitaine  and  Normandy  to  represent  the  vassalage 
of  France,  Sir  Thomas  was  selected  to  fill  the  second  mock 
dignity  at.  the  coronation  of  George  III.,  to  which  Churchill 
alludes  in  his  Ghost;  but  he  assigns  a  wrong  dukedom  to 
Sir  Thomas : 

Could  Satire  not  (though  doubtful  since 

Whether  he  plumbel:  is  or  prince) 

Tell  of  a  simple  Knight's  advance, 

To  be  a  doughty  peer  of  France  ? 

Tell  how  he  did  a  dukedom  gain, 

And  Robinson  was  Aquitain. 

Of  the  two  Sir  Thomas  Robinsons,  one  was  tall  and  thin, 
the  other  short  and  fat:  "I  can't  imagine,"  said  Lady 
Townsend,  "why  the  one  should  be  preferred  to  the  other; 
I  see  but  little  difference  hetween  them  :  the  one  is  as  broad 
as  the  other  is  long." 

Next  on  the  books  is  Samuel  Foote,  who,  after  the 
decline  of  Tom's,  was  mostly  to  be  seen  at  the  Bedford. 


CLUB  AT  TOM'S  COFFEE-HOUSE.  139 

Then  comes  Arthur  Murphy,  lately  called  to  the  Bar; 
David  Garrick,  who  then  lived  in  SouthamptonrStreet 
(though  he  was  not  a  clubbable  man) ;  John  Beard,  the  fine 
tenor  singer;  John  Webb;  Sir  Richard  Glynne;  Robert 
Gosling,  the  banker ;  Colonel  Eyre,  of  Marylebone ;  Earl 
Percy;  Sir  John  Fielding,  the  justice;  Paul  Methuen,  of 
Corsbam;  Richard  Clive;  the  great  Lord  Cliye;.  the 
eccentric  Duke  of  Montagu;  Sir  Fletcher  Norton,  the  ill- 
mannered  ;  Lord  Edward  Bentinck ;  Dr.  Samuel  Johnson ; 
the  celebrated  Marquis  of  Granby ;  Sir  F.  B.  Delaval,  the 
friend  of  Foote;  William  Tooke,  the  solicitor;  the  Hon. 
Charles  Howard,  sen. ;  the  Duke  .  of  Northumberland ;  Sir 
Francis  Gosling;  the  Earl  of  Anglesey ;  Sir  George  Brydges 
Rodney  (afterwards  Lord.  Rodney)  ;  Peter  Burrel;  Walpole 
Eyre  ;  Lewis  Mendez ;  Dr.  Swinney ;  Stephen  Lushington ; 
John  Gunning;  Henry  Brougham,  father  of  Lord  Brougham.; 
Dr.  Macnamara ;  Sir  John  Trevdyan ;  Captain  Donellan ;  Sir 
W.  Wolseley;  Walter  Chetwynd;  Viscount  Gage,  etc.; — 
Thomas  Payne,  Esq.,  of  Leicester  House;  Dr.  Schomberg, 
of  Pall-Mall;  George  Colman,  the  dramatist,  then  living  in 
Great'  Queen  Street;  Dr.  Dodd,  in  Southampton-rowi; 
"James  Payne,  the  architect,.  Salisbury-street^  whiqh  he  rebuilt ; 
William  Bowyer,  the  printer,  Bloomsbury-square ;  Count 
Bruhl,  the  Polish  Minister;  Dr.  Goldsmith,  Temple  (1773), 
etc.  •  Many  a  noted  name  in  the  list  of  700  is  very  sugges- 
tive of  the  gay  isociety  of  the  period.  Among  the  Club 
musters,  Samuel  Foote,  Sir  Thomas  Robinson,  and  Dr.  Dodd 
are  very  frequent :  indeed.  Sir  Thomas  seems  to  have  been 
something  like  a  proposor-general.. 

Tom's  appears  to  have  been  a  general  Lcoffee-hpuse  ;  for  in 
the  parish  books  of  St.  Paul's,  Covent  Garden,  is  the  entry ,: 
.  ...        £.   s.  d. 

i(fi  Dishes  of  chocolate .     .     .     ..'.".     I     3    o 
-    34jelleys .     .    :.     •,.017    .0 

Biscuits 023 

Mr.   Haines,  the  landlord,  was  succeeded  by  his  son, 


140  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

Thomas,  whose  daughter  is  livings  at  the  age  of  eighty-four, 
and' possesses  a  portrait,  by.  Dance,  of  the  elder  Haines, 
who,'froin  his  polite  addressywas  called  among  the  Club 
"  Lord  Chesterfield."  The  above  lady  has  also  a  portrait, 
in  oil,  of  the  younger  Haines^  by  Grignon; 

The  coffee-house  business  closed  in  1814,  about  which 
time  the  premises  were  first  occupied '  by  Mr.  William  Till, 
the  numismatist.  The  card-room  remained  in  its  original 
condition;  "Andhfere,"  wrote  Mr.  Till,  many  years  since, 
"  the  tables  on  which  I  exhibit  my  coins  are  those  which 
were  used  by  the  exalted  characters  whose  names  are  ex- 
tracted from  books  of  the 'Club,  still  in  possession  of  the 
proprietress  of  the  house."  On  the  death  of  Mr.  Till,  Mr. 
Webster  succeeded  to  the  tenancy  and  collection  of  coins 
and  medals,  which  he  removed  to  No.  6,  Henrietta-street, 
shortly  before  the  old  premises  in  Russell-street  were  taken 
down.  He  possesses,  ,by  marriage  with,  the  grand-daughter 
of  the  second  Mr.  Haines,  the  old  Club  books,  as  well  as 
the  curious  memorial,  the  snuff-box  of  the  Clubrroom.  It  is 
of  large  size,  and  fine  tortoiseshell ;  upon  th^  lid, ;  in  high 
relief,  in  silver,  are  the  portraits  of  Charles  I.  and  Queen 
Anne;  the  Boscobel  oak,  with  Charles  II.  amid  its  branches; 
and  at  the  foot  of  the  tree,  on  a  silver  plate-,  is  inscribed 
Thomas  Haines.  At  Will's  the  small  wits  grew  conceited  if 
they  dipped  but  into  Mr.  Dryden's  snuffbox ;  and  at  Tom's 
the  box  may  have  enjoyed  a  similar  shrine-like  reputation. 
It  is  nearly  all  that  remains  of  the  old  coffee-house  in  Covent 
Garden,  save  the  recollection  of  the  names  of  the  interesting 
personages  who  once  thronged  its  rooms  in  stars  and  garters, 
but  who  bore  more  intellectual  distinctions  to  entitle  them  to 
remembrance.  .     ,    ^    ;  jii    ,  . .     , 

The  King  of  Clubs. 

This  ambitious  title  was  given  to  a  Club  set  on  foot  about 
the  year  1801.  Its  founder  was  Bobus  Smith,  the  brother 
of  the  great  Sydney  Smith.     The  Club  at  first  consisted  of  a 


THE  KING  OF  CLUBS.  14! 

small  knot  of  lawyers,  a  few  literary  characters,  and  visitors 
generally  introduced  by  those  who  took  the,  chief, part  in  the 
conversation,  and  seemingly  selected  for  the  faculty  of  being 
good  listeners. 

The  King  of  Clubs  sat  on  Saturday  of  each  month,  at  the 
Crown  and  Anchor  Tavern,  in  the.  Strand,  which,  at  that 
time,  was  a  nest  of  boxes,  each,  containing  its  Club,  and 
affording  excellent  cheer,. though,  latterly  desecrated  by  in- 
different dinners  and  very,  questionable  wine.  The  Club 
was  a  grand  talk,  the,  prevalent  topics  being  books  and 
authors;  politics  quite; excluded,  Bobus  Smith  was  a  con- 
vivial member  in  every  respect  but  that  of  wine ;  he  was  but 
a  frigid  worshipper, of  Bacchus,  but  he  had  great  humour 
and  a  species  of  wit,  that  revelled  amidst  the  strangest  and 
most  grotesque  combinations.  ,  His  manner  was  somewhat 
of  the  bow-wow  kind ;  and  when  he  pounced  upon  a  disputa- 
tious and  dull  blockhead,  he  made  sad  work  of  him. 

Then  there  was  Richard  Sharp,  a  partner  of  Boddington's 
West  India  house,  who  subsequently,  sat  in  Parliament  for 
Port  Arlington,  in  Ireland.  He  was  a  thinker  and  a  reasoner, 
and  occasionally  controversial,:  buti  overflowed  with  useful 
and  agreeable  knowledge,  and  an  unfailing  stream  of  de- 
lightful information.  He  was .  celebrated  for  his  conversa- 
tional talents,  and  hence  called  "  Conversation  Sharp  ;"  and 
he  often  had  for  his  guest  Sir  James  Mackintosh,  with 
whom  he  lived,  in  habits  .(rf  intimacy.  Mr.  Sharp  published 
a  volume  of  Letters  and  Essays  in  Frose  and  Verse,  of  which 
a  third  edition  appeared  in,  1834.  Sharp  was  confessedly 
the  first  of  the  King  of  Clubs.  He  indulged,  but  rarely,  in 
pleasajntryj  but.  when  anything  of  the  kind  escaped  him,  it 
was  sure  to  tell...  One  evening,  at  the  club,  there  was  a  talk 
about  Tweddel,  .then  a  student  in.the; Temple,  who  had 
greatly  distinguished  himself  at .  Cambridge,  and  was  the 
Senior  Wrangler  and  medalist,  of  his  year.  Tweddel  was  not 
a  little  intoxicated  with  his  University  .triumphs  ;  which  led 
Sharp  to  remark,  "  Poor  fellow  1- he  will  soon  find  that  his 


14^  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

Cambridge  medal  will  not  pass  as  current  coin  in  London." 
Other  frequent  attendants  were  Scarlett  (afterwards  Lord 
Abinger) ;  Rogers,  the  poet ;  honest  John  Allen,  brother  of 
the  bluest  of  the  blues.  Lady  Mackintosh ;  M.  Dumont,  the 
French  emigrant,  who  would  sometimes  recite  his  friend  the 
Abbd  de  Lisle's  verses,  with  interminable  perseverance,  in 
spite  of  yawns  and  other  symptoms  of  dislike,  which  his  own 
politeness  (for  he  was  a  highly-bred  man)  forbade  him  to 
interpret  into  the  absence  of  it  in  others. 

In  this  respect,  however,  he  was  outdone  by  Wishart,  who 
was  nothing  but  quotations,  and  whose  prosing,  when  he 
did  converse,  was  like  the  torpedo's  touch  to  all  pleasing 
and  lively  converse.  Charles  Butler,  too,  in  his  long  life, 
had  treasured  up  a  considerable  assortment  of  reminiscences, 
which,  when  once  set  going,  came  out  like  a  torrent  upon 
you;  it  was  a  sort  of  shower-bath,  that  inundated  you  the 
moment  you  pulled  the  string. 

Curran,  the  boast  of  the  Irish  bar,  came  to  the  King  of 
Clubs,  during  a  short  visit  to  London;  there  he  met 
Erskine,  but  the  meeting  was  not  congenial.  Curran  gave 
some  odd  sketches  of  a  Serjeant  Kelly,  at  the  Irish  bar, 
whose  whimsical  peculiarity  was  an  inveterate  b^bit  of 
drawing  conclusions  directly  at  variance  with  his  premises. 
He  had  acquired  the.name  of. Counsellor.  .Therefore.  Curran 
said  he  was  a  perfect  human  personification  of  a  w«  j^^wiVzar. 
For  instance,  meeting  Curran  on  Sunday,  near  St.  Patrick's, 
he  said  to  him,  "  The  Archbishop 'gave  us  an  excellent  dis^ 
course  this  morning.  It  was  well,  written  and  well  delivered, 
therefore,  I  shall  make  a  point  of  being  -at  the  Four  Courts 
to-morrow  at  ten."  At  another  time,  observing  to  a  person 
whom  he  met  in  the  street,  "  What  a  delightful  morning  this 
is  for  walking  !"  he  finished  his  remark  on  the  weather  by 
saying,  "Therefore  I  will  go  home  as  soon  as  I  can,  and 
Btir  out  no  more  the  wliole  day;"  His  speeches  in  Court 
were  interminable,  and  his  tKereforje  kept  him  going  on, 
though; every  one  thought  he  had  done.     "This  is  so  clear 


WALTERS  CLUB.  143 

a  point,  gentlemen,"  he  would  tell  the  jury,  "that  I  am  con- 
vinced you  felt  it  to  be  so  the  very  moment  I  stated  it.  I 
should  pay  your  understandings  but  a  poOr  compliment  to 
dwell  on  it  for  a  minute ;  therefore,  I  will  now  proceed  to 
explain  it  to  you  as  minutely  as  possible." 

Curran  seemed  to  have  no  very  profound  respect  for  the 
character  and  talents  of  Lord  Norbiiry.  Curran  went  down 
to  Carlow  on  a  special  retainer  ;  it  was  in  a  case  of  eject- 
ment A  new  Court-house  had  been  recently  erected,  and 
it  was  found  extremely  inconvenient,  froni  the  echo,  which 
reverberated  the  mingled  voices  of  judge, 'counsel,  crier,  to 
such  a  degree,  as  to  produce  constant  'confusion,  and  great 
interruption  of  business.  Lord  Norbury  had  been,  if  possible, 
more  noisy  that  morning  than  ever.  Whifct  he-was^  arguing 
a  point  with  the  counsel,  and  talking  very  loudly,  an  ass 
brayed  vehemently  from  the  street,  adjoining- the  Court- 
house, to  the  instant  interruption  of  the  Chief-Justice, 
"  What  noise  is  that  ?"  exclaimed  his  Lordship.  "  Oh,  my 
Lord,"  retorted  Curran,  "  it  is  merely  the  echo  of  the 
Court." 

Watier's  Clut. 

This  Club  was  ther  grfeat  Macao  gambling-house  of  a  very 
short  period.  Mr.  Thomas  Raikes,  who  understood  all  its 
mysteries,  describes  it  as  very  genteel,  adding  that  no  one 
ever  quarrelled  there. '  "The  Club  did  not  endtire  for  twelve 
years  altogether ;  the  pace  was  too  quick  to  last :  it  died  a 
natural  death  in  18 19,  "froni  the  paralysed  state  of  its  mem- 
bers ;  the  house  was  then  taken  by  a  set  of  blacklegs,  who 
instituted  a  common  bank  for  gambling.  To  form  an  idea 
of  the  ruin  produced  by  this  short-lived  establishment  among 
men  whom  I  have  so  intimately  known,  a  cursory  glance  to 
the  past  suggeststhe  following  melancholy  list,  which  onljr 
forms  a  part  of  its  deplorable  results.  .  .  .  None  of  the  dead 
reached  the  average  age  of  man." 

Among  the  members  -was  Bligh,  a  notorious  madman,  of 


144  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

whom  Mr.  Raikes  relates  : — "  One  evening  at  the  Macao 
table,  when  the  play  was  very  deep,  Brummell  having  lost  a 
considerable  stake,  affected,  in  his  farcical  way,  a  very  tragic 
air,  and  cried  put,,'  Waiter,  bring,  me  a  flat  candlestick  and 
a  pistol.'  Upon  which  Bligh,  who  was  sittipg  opposite  to 
him,  calmly  produced  .  two  loaded  pistols  from  his  coat 
pocket,  which  he  placed  on  the  table,  and  said,  '  Mr. 
Brummell,  if  you  are  really  desirous  to  put  a  period  to  your 
existence,  I  am  extremely  happy  to  offer  you  the  means 
without  troubling  the  waiter.'  The  effect  upon  those  present 
may  easily  be  imagined,  at  finding  themselves  in  the  com- 
pany of  a  known  madman  who  had .  loaded  weapons  about 
him.'' 

Mr.  Canning  at  the  Clifford-street  Club. 

There  was  in  the  last  century  a  deba,ting  Club,  wliich 
boasted  for  a  short  time,  a  brighter  assemblage  of  talent 
than  is  usually  found  to  fl.ourish  in  societies  of  this  descrip- 
tion. Its  meetings,  which  took  place  once  a  month,  were 
held  at  the  Clifford-street  Coffee-house,  at  the  comer 
of  Bond-street.  The  debaters  were  chiefly  Mackintosh, 
Richard  Sharp,  a  Mr.  OUyett  Woodhouse ;  Charles  Moore, 
son  of  the  celebrated,  traveller ;  and  Lord,  Charles,  Town- 
shend,  fourth  son  of  the  facetious  and  eccentric  Marquis. 
The  great  primitive  principles  of  civil  government  were 
then  much  discussed,  It  was  before  ,the  French  Revolu; 
tion  ;had  "  brought  death  into  the  world  and. all  its  woe." 

At  the  Clifford-street  Society,  Canning  generally  took 
"  the  liberal  side "  of  the  above  questions.  His  earliest 
prepossessions  are  well  known  to  have  inclined  to  this  side; 
but  he  evidently  considered  the  Society  rather  as  a  school 
of  rhetorical  exercise,  where  he  might  acquire  the  use  0/ 
his  weapons,  than  a  forum,  where  the  serious  professions  of 
opinions, ,  and  a  consistent  adherence  to  them,  could  be 
fairly  expected  of  him.  pne  evening, ,  the  question  for 
debate  was  "the  justice,  and  expediency  of  resuming  the 


THE  GlIFFORD-STREET  CLUB.  145 

ecclesiastical  property  of  Frdnce."  Before:  the  debate 
began,  Canning  had  taken  some  pains  to  ascertain  on 
which  side  the  majority  of  the  mernbers  seemed  inclined  to 
speak  J  and  finding  that  they  were  generally  in  favour  of 
"the  resumption,  he  expressed  his  fears  that  theunanimity 
of  sentiment  would  spoil  the  discussion ;  so,  he  volunteered 
to  speak  against  it.  He  did  so,  and  it  was  a  speech  of  con- 
siderable power,  chiefly  in  reply  to  the  opener,  who  in  a  set 
discourse  of  some  length,  had  asserted  the  revocable  con- 
ditions of  the  property  of  the  church,  which,  being  created, 
he  said,  by  the  state,  remained  ever  after  at  its  disposition. 
Canning  denied  the  proposition  that  ecclesiastical  property 
was  the  creature  oi  the  state.  He  contended  that  though 
it  might  be  so  in  a  new  government,  yet,  speaking  his- 
torically, the  great  as  well  as  the  lesser  ecclesiastical  fiefs 
were  coeval  with  the  crown  of  France,  frequently  strong 
enough  to  maintain  fierce  and  not  unequal  conflicts  with  it, 
and  certaihfy  not  in  their  origin  emanations  from  its  bounty. 
The  church,  he  said,  came  well  dowered  to  the  state,  who 
was  now  suing  for  a  divorce,  in  order  to  plunder  her  pin- 
money.  He  contended  that  the  church  property  stood 
upon  the  same  basis,  and  ought  to  be  protected  by  thei 
same  sanctions,  as  private  property.  It  was  originally,  he- 
said,  accumulated  from  the  successive  donations  with  which, 
a  pious  benevolence  sought  to  enrich  the  fountains,  from- 
which  spiritual  comfort  ought  to  flow  to  the  wretched, 
the  poor,  the  forsaken.  He  drew  an  energetic  sketch  of 
Mirabeau,  the  proposer  of  the  measure,  by  whose  side, 
he  remarked,  the  worst  characters  in  history,  the  Cleons, 
the  Catilines,  the  Cetheguses,  of  antiquity,  would  brighten : 
into  virtue.  He  said  that  the  character  of  the  lawgiver- 
tainted  the  law.  It  was  proffered  to  the  National  Assembly^ 
by  hands  hot  and  reeking  from  the  cells  of  sensuality  and 
vice ;  it  came  from  a  brain  inflamed  and  distended  into 
frenzy  by  habitual  debauchery.  These  are,  of  course,  but 
faint   sketches  of  this  very  early  specimen  of  Canning  as 


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148  CLVB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

most  of  his  time  over  a  bottle,  he  Vvas,  in  derision,  Said'  to 
belong. 

'  "  The  Everlasting  Club  consists  of  an  hundred  members, 
who  divide  the  whole  twenty-four  hours  among  them  in  such 
a  manner  that  the  Club  sits  day  and  night,  from  one  end  of 
the  year  to  another :  no  party  presuming  to  rise  till  they  are 
relieved  by  those  who  are  in  course  to  succeed  them.  By 
this  means,  a  member  of  the  Everlasting  Club  never  wants 
company ;  for  though  he  is  not  upon  duty  himself,  he  is  sure 
to  find  some  who  are ;  so  that  if  he  be  disposed'  to  take  a 
whet,  a  nooning,  an  evening's  draught,  or  a  bottle  after  mid- 
night, he  igoes  to  the  Club,  and  finds  a  knot  of  friends  to 
his  mind. 

"  It  is  a  maxim  in  this  Club  that  the  Steward  never  dies ; 
for  as  they  succeed  one  another  by  way  of  rotation,  no  man 
is  to  quit  the  great  elbow-chair,  which  stands  at  the  upper 
end  of  the  table,  till  his  successor  is  ready  to  fill  it ;  inso- 
much that  there  has  not  been  a  sede  vacante  in  their 
memory. 

"  This  Club  was  instituted  towards  the  end;  or,  as  some 
of  them  say,  about  the  middle  of  the  Civil  Wars,  and  con- 
tinued with  interruption  till  the  time  of  the  Great  Fire, 
which  burnt  them  out  and  dispersed  them  for  several  weeks. 
The  Steward  all  that  time  maintained  his  post  till  he  had  like 
to  have  been  blo'wn  up  with  a  neighbouring  house,  which 
was  demolished  in  order  to  stop  the  fire :  and  would  not 
leave  the  chair  at  last^  till  he  had  emptied  the  bottles  upon 
the  table,  and  received  repeated  directions  from  the  Club  to 
withdraw  himself.  This  Steward  is  frequently  talked  of  in 
the  Club;  and  looked  upon  by  every  member  of  it  as  a 
greater  man  than  the  famous  captain  mentioned  in  my  Lord 
Clarendon,  who  was  birnit  in  his  ship,  because  he  would 
not  quit  it  'without  orders.  It  is  said  that  towards  the  close 
of  1700,  being  the  great  year  of  jubilee,  the  Club  had  it 
under  consideration  whether  they  should  break  up  or  con- 
tinue their  session  ;  but  after  many  speeches  and  debates,  it 


ECCENTRIC  CLUBS. 


149 


was  at  length  agreed  to  sit  out  the  other  century.     This 
resolution  passed  in  a  general  club  nemine  contradicente. 

"  It  appears,  by  their  books  in  general^  that,  since  their 
first  institution,  they  have  smoked  fifty  tons  of  tobacco, 
drank  thirty  thousand  butts  of  ale,  one  thousand  hogsheads 
of  red  port,  two  hundred  barrels  of,  brandy,  and  one  kilder- 
kin of  small  been  There  had  been  likewise  a  great 
consumption  of  cards.  It  is  also  said  that  they  observe  the 
law  in  Ben  Jonson'sCIub,  which  orders  the  fire  to  be  always 
kept  in  (focus  perennis  esto),  as  well  for  the  convenience  of 
lighting  their  pipes  as  to  cure  the  dampness  of 'the  club- 
room.  They  have  an  old  woman,  in  the  nature  of  a  vestal, 
whose  business  is  to  cherish  and  perpetuate  the  fire,  which 
bums  from  generation  to,  generation,  and  has  seen  the  glass- 
house fires  in  and  out  above  an  hundred  times.! 

"  The  Everlasting:  Club  treats  all  other  clubs  with  an  eye 
of  contempt,  aivd  talks  even  of  the  Kit-Cat  and  October  as 
a  couple  of  upstarts.  Their  ordinary  discourse,  as  much  as 
I  have  been  able  to  learn  of  it,  turns. altogether  upon  such 
adventures  as  have  passed  in  their  own  assembly ;  of 
members  who  have  taken  the  glass  in  their  turns  for  a  week 
together,  without  stirring  out  of  the  Club.;  of  others  who 
have  not  missed  their  morning's  draught  for  twenty  years 
together ;  sometimes  they  speak  in  rapture  of  a  run  of  ale 
in  King  ■  Charles's  reign ;  and  sometimes  reflect  with 
astonishment  upon  games  at  whist,  which  have  been 
miraculously  recovered  by  members  of  the  Society,  when  in 
all  human  probability  the  case  was  desperate. 

"  They  delight  in  several  old  catches,  which  they  sing  at 
all  hours,  to  encourage  one  another  to  moisten  their  clay, 
and  grow  immortal  by  drinking,  with  many  other  edifying 
exhortations  of  the  like  nature. 

"There  are  four  general  Clubs  held  in  a  year,  at  which 
time  they  fill  up  vacancies,  appoint  waiters,  confirm  the  old 
fire-maker  or  elect  a  new  one,  settle  contributions  for  coals, 
pipes,  tobacco,  and  other  necessaries. 


ijo  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

,. '1  The  senior  member  has  outlived  the  whole  Club  twice 
over,. and  has  been  drunk  with  the  grandfathers  of  some  of 
the  sitting  members-."  - 

The  Lawyer's:  Club  is  thus  described  in  the  Spectator, 
No.  372  :^"  This  Club  consists  only  of  attorneys,  and  at 
this  meeting  every  one  proposes  to  the  board,  the  cause  he 
has  then  in  hand,  upon  which  each  member  gives  his  judg' 
ment,  according  to  the  experience  he  has  iilet  with.  If  it 
happens  that  any  one  puts  a  case  of  which  they  have  no 
precedent,  it  is  noted  down  by  their  chief  clerk.  Will 
Goosequill  (who  registers  all  their  proceedirigs),i  that  one  of 
them  may  go  with  it  next  day  to  a  counsel.  This  is; 
indeed,  commendable,  and  ought  to  be  the  'pdncipal  end  of 
their  meeting ;  but  had  you  been  there  to.  have  heard  them 
relate  their  methods  of  managing  a  cause,  their  manner  of 
drawing  out  their  bills,  and,  in  short,  their  .arguments  upon 
the  several  ways  of  abusing,  their  clients,  with  the  applause 
iJiat  is  given  to  him  who  has  done,  it  most  artfully,  you  would 
before  now  have  given  yout  remarks,    i         '.'. .  ■    ■. 

'"  They  are  so  conscious  that  their  discourses  ought  to  be 
kept  a -secret,  that  -they  are- very  cautious  of  admitting  any 
person  who  is  not  in  the  profession.  When  any  who  are  not  of 
the  law  are  let  in^  the  person  who  introduces  him  says,  he  is  a 
very  honest  gentleman,  and  he  is  taken,  as  their  cant  is,  to  pay 
costs."  The  writer  adds,  "that  he  is  admitted  upon  the  recom- 
mendation of  one  of  their  principals,  as  a  very  honest,  good- 
natured  fellow,  that  will  never  be  in  a  plot,  and  only  desires 
to  drink  his  bottle  and  smoke  his  pipe."  :   :  : 

77ie  Little  Club,  we  are  told  in  the  Guardian,  No*  91, 
began  by  isending  invitations  to  those  not  exceeding  five  feet 
in  height  to  repair  to  the  assembly,  but  many  sent  excuses, 
or  pretended  a  non-application.  They  proceeded  to  fit  up 
a- room  for  their  accommodation,  and  in  the  first  place  had 
all  the  chairs,  stools,  and  tables  removed,  which  had  served; 
the  more  bulky  portion  of  mankind  for  many. years,  previous 
to  which  they  laboured  under  very  great  disadvantages.     The  • 


ECCENTRIC  CLUBS.  151 

Fresideat's  ■whole  person  was,  sunk  in  the  elbow-chair,  and 
when  his  ai-ms  were  spread  over  it,  he  appeared  (to  the  great 
lessening  of  his  dignity)  like  a  child  in  a  go-cart.  It  was 
also  so  wide  in  the  seg,t,j?is  to  give  a,  wag  occasion  of  saymg, 
that  "  notwithstanding  the  President  sat  in  it,  there  was  a 
sede  vacante."  "  The.  table  was  so  high,  that  one  who  came 
by  change  to  the  door, '  seeing  our  chins  just  above  the 
pewter  dishes,  took  us  for  a  circle  of  men  that  sat  ready  to 
be  shaved,  and  sent  in  half-a-dozen  of  barbers.  Another 
time,  one  of  the  Club  spoke  contumeliously  of  the.  President, 
imagining  he  had  been  absent,  when  he  was  only  ieclipsed  by 
a  flask  of  Florence,  which  stood  on  the  table  in  a  parallel 
line  before  hig  face.  We  therefore  .new-fi^mished  the  room, 
in  all  respects  propprtionably.  to  us,  and  had  the  door  made 
lower,  so  as  to  admit  no  man  above  five  feet  high  without- 
brushing  his  foretop;  which,  whoever  does,  , is  utterly  un- 
qualified to  git  amongst  us."    ,       : 

Mr.  Daniel,  in  Y^s^Merrie  England  in  the. Olden  Time,  has 
dollect^d  a  farther  list  of  Clubs  eifisting  in  London  in  1790., 
He  enumerates  the  following : — The  Odd  Fellows'  Club ; 
the  Humbugs  (held  at  the  Bllie  ifosts,  in  Covent-garden) ; 
the  Samsomc  Society ; .  the.  Society  pf  Bucks ;  the  Purl 
Drinkers ;  the  Society  of  Pilgrims  (held  at  tlie  Woojpack,  in 
the  Kingsl^d-road). ;  the"  Thespian  Club;  the  Great  Bottle 
Club';  the  Je  ne,  sgai  quoi  Club  (held  at  tlje  Star  and 
Garter  in^  Pall-Mall,  and  of  which  the  Prince  of  Wales,  and 
the  Dukes  of  York,  Clarence,  Orleans,  Norfolk,  Bedford, 
etc.,  were  meniberp) ;  the  Sons  of  the  Thames  Society ;  the 
Blue  Stocking  Club  ;  the  No  Pay  No  Liquor  Club  (held  at 
the  Queen  an<i  Artichoke,  in  the  Hampstead-foad,  and  of 
which  the  ceremony,  on  a  new  member's  introduction,  was, 
after  his  paying  a  fee  on  entrance  of  one  shilling,  that  he 
should  wear  a  hat,  throughout  the' first  evening,  piade  in  the 
shape  of  a  quart  pot,  and  drink  to  the  health  of  Bis  brother 
members  in  a  gilt  goblet  of  ale) ;  the  Social  Villagers  (held 
at  the  Bedford  Arms,  in  Camden-town),  etc.     Of  the  Vil- 


152  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

lagers  of  our  time,  Sheridan  KnowleSj  the  dramatist,  was  a 
jovial  member. 

Jacobite  Club. 

In  the  year  1854  a  Correspondent  of  Notes  and  Queries 
commmiicated  to  that  journal  the  following  interesting 
reminiscenpes  of  a  political  Club,  with  characteristics  pf  the 
reminiscent. 

"  The  adherents  of  the  Stuarts  are  now  nearly  extinct ; 
but  I  recollect  a  few  years  ago  an  old  gentleman  in  London, 
who  was  then  upwards  of  eighty  years  of  age,  and  who  was 
a  staunch  Jacobite.  I  have  heard  him  say  that,  when  he 
was  a  young  man,  his  father  belonged  to  a  society  in  Alders- 
gate-street,  called  '  The  Mourning  Bush  j'  and  this  Bush  was 
to  be  always  in  mourning  until  the  Stuarts  were  restored." 
A  member  of  this  society  having  been  met  in  mourning 
when  one  of  the  reigning  family  had  died,  was  asked  by  one 
of  the  members  how  it  so  happened  ?  His  reply  was,  "  that 
he  was  not  mourning  for  the  dead,  but  for  the  living."  The 
old  gentleman  was  father  of  the  Mercers'  Company,  and  his 
brother  of  the  Stationers'  Company :  they  were  bachelors, 
and  citizens  of  the  old  school,  hospitable,  liberal,  and  chari- 
table. An  instance  occurred  that  the  latter  had  a  presen- 
tation to  Christ's  Hospital- :  he  was  applied  to  in  behalf  of  a 
person  who  had  a  large  family ;  but  the  father  not  being  a 
freeman,  he  could  not  present  it  to  the  son.  He  imme- 
diately bought  the  freedom  for  the  father,  and  gave  the  son 
the  presentation.  This  is  a  rare  act.  The  brothers  have 
long  gone  to  receive  the  reward  of  their  goodness,  and 
lie  buried  in  the  cemetery  attached  to  Mercers'  Hall,  Cheap- 
side." 

By  the  above  statement,  the  Club  appears  to  have  taken 
the  name  of  the  Mourning  Bush  Tavern,  in  Aldersgate,  of 
which  we  shall  have  more  to  say  hereafter. 


'53 

The  Wit,tinagemot  of  the  Chapter  Coffee- 
house. 

The  Chapter  Coffee-house,  at  the  corner  of  Chapter-house 
Court,  on  the  south  side  of  Paternoster-row,  waSj  in  the  last 
century,  noted  as  the  resort  of  men  of  letters,  and  was  famous 
for  its  punch,  pamphlets,  and  good  supply  of  newspapers. 
It  was  closed  as  a  coffee-house  in  1854,  and  then  altered  to 
a  tavern.  Its  celebrity,  however,  lay  in  the  last  century. 
In  the  Connoisseur,  January  31,  1754,  we  read:  "The 
Chapter  Coffee-house  is  frequented  by  those-  encouragers  of 
literature,  and  (as  they  are  styled  by  an  eminent  critic)  '  not 
the  worst  judges  of  merit,'  the  booksellers.  The  conversa- 
tion here  naturally  turns  upon  the  newest  publications;  but 
their  criticisms  are  somewhat  singular.  When  tliey,  say  a 
good  book,  they  do  not  mean  to  praise  the  style  or  sentiment, 
but  the  quick  and  extensive  sale  of  it  That  book  is  best 
which  sells  most ;  and  if  the  demand  for  Quarles  should  be 
greater  than  for  Pope,  he  would  have  the  highest  place  on 
the  rubric-post." 

The  house  was  much  frequented  by  Chatterton,  who  writes 
to  his  mother :  "  I  am  quite-  familiar  at  the  Chapter  Coffee- 
house, and  know  all  the  geniuses  there.;"  and  to  Mr.  Mason: 
"  Send  me  whatever  you  would  have  published,  and  direct 
forme,  to  be  left  at  the  Chapter.  Coffee-house,  Paternoster- 
row."  And,  writing  from  "  King's  Bench  for  the  present,' 
May  14,  1770,  Chatterton  says  :  "A  gentleman  who  knows 
me  at  the  Chapter,  as  an  author,  would  have  introduced  me 
as  a  companion  to  the  young  Duke  of  Northuniberland,  in 
his  intended  general  tour.  But,  alas  !  I  spake  no  tongue 
but  my  own." 

Forster  relates  an  anecdote  of  Oliver  Goldsmith  being 
paymaster  at  the  Chapter,  for  Churchill's  friend,  Lloyd,  who, 
in  his  careless,  way,  without  a  shilling  to  pay  for  the  enter- 
tainment, had  invited  him  to  sup  with  some  friends  of  Grub- 
street. 


1S4  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

The  Glub  celebrity  of  the  Chapter  was,  however,  the 
Wittmagemot,  as  the  box  in  the,  north-east  comer  of  the 
coffee-room  was  designated.  Attiong  its  frequenters  was 
Alexander  Stephens,  editor  of  the  Anmml  £iograpfi.y  and 
Obituary,  who  died  in  1824,  and  who  left  among  his  papers, . 
printed  in  the  Monthly  Magazine^  as  "  Stephensianaj".  his 
recollections  of  the  Chapter,  which  he  frequented  in  1797 
to  1805,  where,ihe  tells  us,  he  always  met  with  intelligent, 
company.  We  give  his  reminiscences  almost  in  his  own 
words. 

Early  in  the  morning  it  was  occupied  by  neighbours,  who 
were  designated  the  Wet  Pd^er  Club,  as  it  was  their  practice 
to  open  the  papers  when  brought  in  by  the  newsmen,  and 
read  them-before  they  were  dried  by  the  waiter  5  a  dry  paper- 
they  viewed  as  a  stale  commodity.  In  the  afternoon,  another 
party  enjoyed  the  T^f^  evening  papers;  and  (says  Stephens) 
it  was  these  whom  I  met. 

Dr.  Buchan,  author  of  "  Domestic  Medicine,"  generally 
held  a  seat  in  this  box ;  and-  though  he  was  a  Tory,  he  heard 
the  freest  discussion  with  good  humour,  and  commonly  acted 
as  a  moderator.  His  fine  physiognomy,  and  his  white  hairs, 
qualified  him  for  this  office.  '  But  the  fixture  in  the  box- was; 
a-Mr.  Hammond,  a  Cbventry  manufacturer,  who,  evening 
after  evening,  for  nearly  forty-five  years,  was  always  to  be 
found  in  his  place,  and  during  the  entire -period  was.  much 
distinguished  for  his  severe  and  often  able  strictures  on  the 
events  of  the  day.  He  had  thus  debated  through  the  days 
of  Wilkes,  of  the  American  war,  and  of  the  French'  war,  and 
being  on  the  side  of  liberty,  was  constantly  in  opposition. 
His  mode  of  arguing  was  Socratic,  and  he  generally  applied 
to  his  adversary  the  reductio  ad  absurdum,  creating  bursts  of 
laughter.' ■  '         ' 

The  registrar  or  chronicler  of  the  box  was  a  Mr.  Murray, 
an  episcopal  Scotch  minister,  who  generally  sat  in  one  place 
from  nine  in  the  riioming  till  nine  at  night;  and  was  famous 
for  having  read,  at  least  once  through,  every  morning  and 


THE  WITTINAGEMOT,  155 

evening  paper  published  in .  London  during  .the  last  thirty 
years.  His  memory  being  good,  he  was  appealed  to  when- 
ever any  point  of  fact  withm  the  memory  of  man  happened 
to  be  disputed.  ,  It  was  often  remarked,  however,  that  such 
incessant  daily,  reading,  did  not  tend  to  clear  his  views. 

Among  those,  from,  whom  I  constantly  profited  was  Dr. 
Berdmore,  ,the  master  of  the  Charterhouse;  Walker,  the 
rhetorician;  and  Dr..  Towers,  the  political  and:' historical 
writer.  Dr.  B.  abounded  in  anecdote ;  Walker  (the  Dic- 
tionary-maker) •  to  the  finest  enunciation  united  the  most 
intelligent  head  Ij'eyer  met  with;  arid  Towers, /Over  his  half- 
pint  of  Lisbon, -was  sarcastic  and  lively,  though' never  deep. 

Among ,  our  constant  visitors  was  the  celebrated  Dr. 
George  Fordyce,  who,  having  much  fashionable  practice, 
brought  news  which  had.  not  generally  transpired.  He  had 
not  the  appearance  of  a  man  of  genius,  nor  did  he  debate, 
but  he  possessed  sound  information  on  aU  subjects.  He. 
came  to  the  Chapter  after  taking  his  wine,  and  stayed  about 
an  hpw,  or  while  he  sipped  a  glass  of  brandy-and-water ;  it 
was  then  his  habit  to  take  another  glass '  at  th^  -London 
Coffeehouse,  and  a  third  at,  the  Oxford,  before; he  returned 
to  his  house  in.  Essex-street,  Strand. 

Dr,.Gower,  the  urbane  and  able  physician  of  the  Mid-, 
dlesex,  was  another  pretty  constant  visitor.  And  it  was 
gratifying  to  hear  such,  men  as  .Fordyce,  Gower,  and  Buchan 
in  familiar  chat  Qn- subjects  of  medicine  they  seldom 
agreed,  and  when  siich  were :  started,  they  generally  laughed 
at  one  another's  opinions.  They  seemed  to  consider  Chap- 
ter punch,  or  brandy-and-water,  as  aqua  vita ;  and,  to  the 
credit  of  the  house,  better  punch  could  not  be  found  in 
London.  If  any  one  complained  of  being  indisposed, 
the  elder  Buchan  exclaimed,  "  Now  let  me  prescribe  for 
you  without  a  fee.  Here,  John  or  Isaac,  bring  a  glass  of 
punch  for  Mr.  - — r-,  unless  he  likes  brandy-and-water  better. 
Take  that.  Sir,  and  I'll  warrant  you  you'll  soon  be  welL 


136  CLUB  LIFE  OP  LONDON. 

You're  a  peg  too  low ;  you  want  stimulus,  and  if  one  glass 
won't  do,  call  for  a  second." 

There  was  a  growling  man  of  the  name  of  Dobson,  who, 
when  his  asthma  permitted,  vented  his  spleen  upon  both 
sides;  and  a  lover  of  absurd  paradoxes,  author  of  some 
works  of  merit,  but  so  devoid  of  principle,  that  deserted  by 
his  friends, 'he  would  have-  died  for  want,  if  Dr.  Garthshore 
had  not  placed  him  as  a  patient  in  the  empty  Fever  Insti- 
tution. 

Robinson,  the  king  of  the  booksellers,  was  frequently  of 
the  party,  as  well  as  his  brother  John,  a  man  of  some  talent : 
and  Joseph  Johnson  the  friend  of  Priestly,  and  Paine,  and 
Cowper,  and  Euseli,  came  from  St.  Paul's  Churchyard. 

Phillips,  then  commencing  his  "  Monthly  Magazine,"  was 
also  on  a  keen  look-out  for  recruits,  and  with  his  waistcoat 
pocket  full  of  guineas,  to  slip  his  enlistment-money  into  their 
hand.  Phillips,  in  the  winter  of  1795-6,  lodged  and  boarded 
at  the  Chapter,  and  not  only  knew  the  characters  referred  to 
by  Mr.  Stephens,  but  many  others  equally  original,  from  the 
voracious  glutton  in  politics,  who  waited  for  the  wet  papers 
in  the  morning  twilight,  to  the  comfortless  bachelor,  who  sat 
till  the  fire  was  raked  out  at  half-past  twelve  at  night,  all  of 
whom  took  their  successive  stations,  like  figures  in  a  magic 
lantern. 

Alexander  Chalmers,  the  workman  of  the  Robinsons,  and 
through  their  introduction  editor  of  many  large  books,  also 
enlivened  the  box  with  many  sallies  of  wit  and  humour.  He 
always  took  much  pains  to  be  distinguished  from  his  name- 
sake, George,  who,  he  used  to  say,  carried  "the  leaden 
mace,"  and  he  was  much  provoked  whenever  he  happened 
to  be  mistaken  for  his  namesake. 

Cahusac,  a  teacher  of  the  classics ;  M'Leod,  a  writer  in 
the  newspapers :  the  two  Parry's,  of  the  "  Courier,"  the 
organ  of  Jacobinism ;  and  Captain  Skinner,  a  man  of  elegant 
manners,  who  personated  our  nation  in  the  procession  of 


:  TME  wnTINAGEMOT.  1S7 

Anacharsis  Clootz,  at  Paris  in  1793,  were  also  in  constant 
attendance. 

One  Baker,  once  a  Spitalfields  manufacturer,  a  great  talker, 
and  not  less  remarkable  as  an  eater,  was  constant;  bul^ 
having  shot  himself  at  his  lodgings  in  Kirby-street,  it  was 
discovered  that,  for  some  years,  he  had  had  no  other  meal 
per  day  besides  the  supper  which  he  took  at  the  Chapter, 
where  there  being  a  choice  of  viands  at  the  fixed  price 
of  one  shilling,  this,  with  a  pint  of  porter,  constituted  his 
daily  subsistence,  till,  his  last  resources  failing,  he  put  an 
end  to  himself. 

Lowndes,  the  celebrated  electrician,  was  another  of  our  set, 
and  a  facetious  man.  Buchan  the  younger,  son  of  the  Doctor, 
generally  came  with  Lowndes ;  and  though  somewhat  dog- 
matical, yet  he  added  to  the  variety  and  good  intelligence  of 
our  discussions,  which,  from  the  mixture  of  company,  were 
as  various  as  the  contents  of  the  newspapers. 

Dr.  Busby,  the  musician,  and  an  ingenious  man,  often 
obtained  a  hearing,  and  was  earnest  in  disputing  with  the 
Tories.  And.  Macfarlane,  the  author  of  the  "  History  of 
George  the  Third,"  was  generally  admired  for  the  soundness 
of  his  views ;  but  this  worthy  man  was  killed  by  the  pole  of 
a  coach,  during  an  election  procession  of  Sir  Francis  Burdett, 
from  Brentford.  Mr.  W.  Cook,  author  of  "Conversation," 
constantly  exemplified  his  own  rules  in  his  gentlemanly 
manners  and  well-timed  anecdotes. 

Kelly,  an  Irish  schoolmaster,  and  a  man  of  polished  man- 
ners, kept  up  warm  debates  by  his  equivocating  politics, 
and  was  often  roughly  handled  by  Hammond  and  others, 
though  he  bore  his  defeats  wth  constant  good  humour. 

There  was  a  young  man  named  Wilson,  who  acquired  the 
distinction  of  Long-bow,  from:  the  number  of  extraordinary 
secrets  of  the  haut  ton,  which  he  used  to  retail  by  the  hour. 
He  was  an  amusing  person,  who  seemed  likely  to  prove  an 
acquisition  to  the  Wittinagemot;  but,  having  run  up  a  score 
of  thirty  or  forty  pounds,  he  suddenly  absented  himself. 


158  CWB  UPS  OP  LONDON. 

Miss  Brun^  the  keeper  of  the  Chapter,  begfe-ed  me,  if  I  met 
with  Wilson,  to  tell  him  she  would  give  him  a  receipt  for  the 
past,  and  further  credit  to  any-  amount,  if  he  would  only  re- 
turn to  the  house ;  "for,"  said  she,  "  if  he  never  paid  us;  he 
was  one  of  the  best  custoniers  we  ever  -had,  contriving,  by 
his  stories  and  conversation,  to  keep  a  couple  of  boxes 
crowded  the  whole  hightj  by  which  we  made  more  punch 
and  more  brandy-and-water,  than  from  any  other  single 
cause  whatever." 

Jacob,  afterwards  an  alderman  and  M.P.,  wasa  frequent 
visitor,  and  then  as  remarkable  for  his  heretical,  as  he  was 
subsequently  for  his  orthodox,  opinions  in  his  speeches  and 
.writings. 

Waithman,  the  active  and  eloquent  Common  Councilman, 
often  mixed  with  us,  a,fld  was '  always  clear-headed  and 
agreeable.  One  James,  who  had  made  a  large  fortune  by 
vending  tea,  contributed  many  good  anecdotes  of  the  age  of 
Wilkes. 

Several  Stockbrokers  visited  us ;  and  among  others  of  that 
description  was  Mr.  Blake,  the  banker  of  Lombard-street,  a 
remarkably  intelligent  old  gentleman  ;  and  there  was  a  Mr. 
Paterson,  a  North  Briton,  a  long-headed' = speculator,  who 
taught  mathematics  to  Pitt. 

Some  young  men  of  talent  came  among  us  from  time  to 
time;  as  Lovett,  a  militia  officer;  Hennell,  a  coal  merchant, 
and  some  others ;  and  these  seemed  likely  to  keep  up  the 
party.  But  all  things  have  an  end:  Dr.  Buchan  died;  some 
young  sparks  affironted  our  Nestor,  Hammond,  on  which  he 
absented  himself,  after  nearly  fifty  years'  attendance;  and  the 
noisy  box  of  the  Wittinagemot  was,  for  some  years  pre- 
viously to  1820,  remarkable  for  its  silence  and  dulness. 
The  two  or  three  last  times  I  was  at  the  Chapter,  I  heard 
no  voice  above  a  whisper;'  and  I  almost  shed  a  tear  on 
thinking  of  men,  habits,  and  times  gone  by  for  ever ! 

We  shall  have  more  to  say  of  the  Chapter  Coffee-house 
in  Vol.  II. 


IS9 


The  Roxburghe  Gub  Dinners. 

The  Roxburghe  Club  claims  its  foundation:  from  the 
sale  of  the  library  of  the  late  John,  Duke  of  Roxburghe, 
in  1812,  which  extended  -to  forty-one  days  following,  with 
a'  supplementary  catalogue  beginning  Monday,  July  13, 
with  the  exception  of  Sundays.  Some  few  days  before  the 
sale,  the  Rev.  Thomas  Frognall  Dibden^  who  cl3,iiRed  the 
title  of  founder  of  the  Club,  suggested  the  holding  of  a  con- 
vivial meeting  at  the  St.  Alban's  Tavern  after  the  sale  of 
June  17th,  upon  which  day  was  to  besold  the  rarest  lot, 
"II  Decamerone  di  Boccaccio,"  which  produced  2260/. 
The  invitation  ran  thus  : — "The  honour  of  your  company  is 
requested,  to  dine  with  the  Roxburghe  dinner,  on  'Wednes- 
day, the  17  th  instajit."  At  the  first  dinner  the  number  of 
members  was  limited  to  twenty-fonr,  which  at  the  second 
dinner  was  extended  to  thirty-one.  The  president  of  this 
club  was  Lord  Spencer;  among  ofher  celebrated  members 
were  the  Duke  of  Devonshire,  the  Marquis  of,  BJandford, 
Lord  Morpeth,  Lord  Gower,  Sir  Mark  Sykes,  Sir  Egerton 
Brydges,  Mr.  (afterwafds)  Baron  Bolland,  Mr.  Dent,  the 
Rev.  T.  C.  Heber,  Rev.  Rob.  Holwell  Carr,  Sir  Walter 
Scott,  etc. ;  Dr.  Dibdin,  secretaty. 

The  avowed  object  of  the  Club  was  the  reprinting  of  rare 
,and  ancient  pieces  of  ancient  literature;  and,  at  one  of  the 
-early  meetings,  "it  was  proposed  and  concluded. for  each 
member  of  the  Club  to  reprint  a  scarce  piece  of  ancient  lore, 
to  be  given  to  the  members,  one  copy  being  on  vellum  for 
the  chairman,  and  only  as  many  copies  as  members." 

It  may,  however,  be  questioned  whether  "the  dinners"  of 
the  Club  were  not  more  important  than  the  literature. 
They  were  given  at  the  St.  Alban's,  at  Grillion's,  at  the  Claren- 
don, and  the  Albion  taverns;  the  Amphytrions  evincing  sC 
recherche  taste  in  ih&' carte,  as  the  Club  did  to  their  vellum 
reprints.     Of  these  entertainments  some  curious  details  have 


i6o 


CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 


been  recorded  by  the  late  Mr.  Joseph  Haslewood,  one  of 
the  members,  in  a  MS.  entitled,  "  Roxburghe  Reyels;  or,  an 
Account  of  the  Annual  Display,  culinary  and  festivous,  inter- 
spersed incidentally  with  Matters  of  Moment  or  Merri- 
ment." This  MS.  was,  in  1833,  purchased  by  the  Editor  cif 
the  Athenaum,  and  a  selection  from  its  rarities  was  subse- 
quently printed  in  that  journal.  Among  the  memoranda, 
we  find  it  noted  that,  at  the  second  dinner,  a  few  tarried, 
with  Mr.  Heber  in  the  chair,  until,  "on  arriving  at  home, 
the  click  of  time  bespoke  a  quarter  to  four."  Among  the 
early  members  was  the  Rev.  Mr.  Dodd,  one  of  the  masters 
of  Westminster  School,  who,  until  the  year  181 8  (when  he 
died),  enlivened  the  Club  with  Robin-Hood  ditties  and 
similar  productions.  The  fourth  dinner  was  given  at  Gril- 
lion's,  when  twenty  members  assembled,  under  the  chair- 
manship of  Sir  Mark  Masterman  Sykes.  The  biU  on  this 
occasion •  amounted  to  57/.,  or  2/.  lyj-.  per  man;  and  the 
twenty  "lions"  managed  to  dispose  of  drinkables  to  the 
extent  of  about  33/.  The  reckoning  by  (trillion's  French 
waiter,  is  amusing: — 

Dinner  du  17-Juin  1815. 

(Not  legible) , 
Soder. .  .  . 
Biere  e  Ail    . 


200 

20 

4 


For  la  Lettre 
Pour  faire  un  prune 
Pour  un  fiacre    .     . 


Waiters 


14 
2 
6 
2 
6 
2 


20   .    .    .    .    .     . 

Cesser 

Deu  sorte  de  Glasse     .     I 
Glasse  pour  6    .     .     .    o    4    o 
5    Boutelle  de   Cham-' 

pagne 400 

7  Boutelle  deharmetage    5    5° 

1  Boutelle  de  Hok  .  .  o  15  o 
4  Boutelle  de  Port  ..160 
4  Boutelle  de  Maderre  .200 
22  Boutelle  de  Bordeaux  15    80 

2  Boutelle  deBourgogne     i  12    o 

The  anniversary  of  1818  was  celebrated  at  the  Albion,  in 
Aldersgate-street :  Mr.  Heber  was  in  the  chair,  and  the 
Rev.  Mr.  Carr  vice,  vice  Dr.  Dibdin.  Although  only  fifteen 
sat  down,  they  seem  to  have  eaten  and  drunk  for  the  whole 


SS    6 
I  14 


/S7    o    o 


& 


Sf- 


^      J 


r  .1 


[□: 


Old  Slaughter's  Coffee  House,  St.  Mavtin's  Lane. 


Tom's  Coffee  House,  Great  Russell  Street,  Covent  Garden. 


THE  ROXBURGHE  CLUB  DINNERS. 


l6i 


Club:  it  was,  as  Wordsworth  says,  "forty  feeding  like  one;" 
and  the  bill,  at  the  conclusion  of  the  night,  amounted  to  85/. 
gx.  6(/.  "  Your  cits,"  says  Mr.  Haslewood,  "  are  the  only 
men  for  a  feast ;  and,  therefore,  behold  us,  like  locusts, 
tiavelHng  to  devour  the  good  things  of  the  land,  eastward 
oh  !  At  a  little  after  seven,  with  our  fancies  much  delighted, 
we  fifteen,  sat  down." 

The  bill  of  fare  was  as  follows  : — 


Turtle  Cutlets. 

Boiled  Chickens. 
Saut^  of  Haddock. 

Turtle. 
Tendrons  of  Lamb. 
Tongue. 
Turtle  Fin. 


FIRST   COURSE. 

Turtle.* 
Turbot. 


Turtle  Fin. 


Ham. 

Chartreuse. 

Turtle. 

Fillets  of  Whitings. 

John  Dory.       R.  Chickens. 

Fricandeau  of  Turtle. 


Turtle.* 
t+t  Cold  Roast  Beef  on  Side  Tables. 
*  These  Tureens  were  removed  for  two  dishes  of  White  Bait. 


SECOND    COURSE. 

Venison  (2  Haunches). 


Tart. 

Jelly. 

R.  Quails. 

Salade  Italienne 


THIRD    COURSE. 

Larded  Poults. 

Cheese  Cakes. 
Artichoke  bottoms. 

Prawns. 

R.  Leveret. 

Cr^me  Italienne. 


Cabinet  Pudding. 


Peas. 
R.  Goose. 

M 


Tourt. 


1 62 


CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 


The  bill,  as  a  specimen  of  the  advantages  of  separate 
charges,  as  well  as  on  other  accounts,  may  be  worth  pre- 
serving : — 


Bread  and  Beer  .     .     .  o 

Dinners 9 

Cheas  and  Butter    .     .  o 

Lemons o 

Strong  Beer  .     .     .     .  o 

Madeira 3 

Champagne    ....  2 

Satume  (sic  in  MS.)     ,  I 

Old  Hock      ....  4 

Burgundy o 

Hermitage     .     .     .     .  o 

Sileiy  Champagne  .     .  o 

Sheriy o 

St.  Percy' 2 

Old  Port 2 

Claret ii 

Turtle  Punch      .     .     .  o 

Waxlights      ....  2 

Desert 6 


Albion 

House. 

June  15 

,  1818. 

9 

0 

Pine-ice  creams  .     . 

1 

16 

0 

9 

0 

Tea  and  Coffee  .     . 

I 

8 

0 

9 

14 
10 

0 

2  Haunches  of  Venison  10 

0 

9 

0 

Sweet  sauce  and  dress 

3 
II 

n 

incT    ..... 

I 

4 
10 

f> 

0 

50  lbs.  Turtle     . 

12 

0 

4 

0 

Dressing  do.  .     . 

2 

2 

0 

H6 

0 

Ice  for  Wine .     . 

0 

6 

0 

>  18 

0 

Rose  Water  .     . 

0 

.') 

0 

)  18 

0 

Soda  Water  .     . 

0 

12 

0 

)  16 

0 

Lemons  and  Sugar 

for 

7 

0 

do 

0 

S 

0 

II 

0 

Broken  Glass      . 

0 

.S 

6 

9 

0 

Servants'  dinners 

0 

7 

0 

4 

0 
0 

Waiters     .     ■     • 

I 

0 

n 

10 

0 

;^8S 

9 

6 

)    6 

0 





"  Consider,  in  the  bird's-eye  view  of  the  banquet  (says 
Mr.  Haslewood),  the  trencher  cuts,  foh !  nankeen  displays ; 
as  iatersticed  with  many  a  brilliant  drop  to  friendly  beck 
and  clubbish  hail,  to  moisten  the  viands,  or  cool  the  incipient 
cayenne.  No  unfamished  liveryman  would  desire  better 
dishes,  or  high-tasted  courtier  better  wines.  With  men  that 
meet  to  commune,  that  can  converse,  and  each  willing  to 
give  and  receive  information,  more  could  not  be  wanting  to 
promote  well-tempered  conviviality  j  a  social  compound  of 
mirth,  wit,  and  wisdom  ; — combining  all  that  Anacreon  was 
famed  for,  tempered  with  the  reason  of  Demosthenes,  and 
intersected  with  the  archness  of  Scaliger.  It  is  true  we  had 
not  any  Greek  verses  in  praise  of  the  grape ;  but  we  had  as 
a  tolerable  substitute  the  ballad  of  the  Bishop  of  Hereford, 
and  Robin  Hood,  sung  by  Mr.  Dodd ;  and  it  was  of  his 


THE  ROXBURGHE  CLUB  DINNERS.  163 

own  composing.  It  is  true  we  had  not  any  long  oration 
denouncing  the  absentees,  the  Cabinet  council,  or  any  other 
set  of  men,  but  there  was  not  a  man  present  that  at  one 
hour  and  seventeen  minutes  after  the  cloth  was  removed 
but  could  not  have  made  a  Demosthenic  speech  far  superior 
to  any  record  of  antiquity.  It  is  true  no  trait  of  wit  is  going 
to  be  here  preserved,  for  the  flashes  were  too  general ;  and 
what  is  the  critical  sagacity  of  Scaliger,  compared  to  our 
chairman?  Ancients,  beHeve  it  we  were  not  dead  drunk, 
and  therefore  lie  quiet  under  the  table  for  once,  and  let  a  few 
modems  be  uppermost. 

"  According  to  the  long-established  principles  of  '  May- 
sterre  Cockerre,'  each  person  had  5/.  14J.  to  pay — a  tremen- 
dous surn,  and  much  may  be  said  tliereon." 

Earl  Spencer  presided  at  the  dinner  which  followed  the 
sale  of  the  Valdarfer  Boccaccio  :  twenty-one  members  sat 
down  to  table  at  Jaquifere's  (the  Clarendon),  and  the  bill 
was  comparatively  moderate,  55/.  13^.  Mr.  Haslewood 
says,  with  characteristic  sprightliness  :  "  Twenty-one  mem- 
bers met  joyfully,  dined  comfortably,  challenged  eagerly, 
tippled  prettily,  divided  regretfully,  and  paid  the  bill  most 
cheerfully." 

The  foUowrng  is  the  list  of  "  Tostes,''  given  at  the  first 
Dinner,  in  181 2  : — 

Vs^t  ®xii!X  of  ije  %a%ivi. 

The  Immortal  Memory  of  John  Duke  of  Roxburghe. 

Christopher  Valdarfer,  Printer  of  the  Decameron  of  1471. 

Gutemberg,  Fust,  and  Schseffher,  the  Inventors  of 

the  Art  of  Printing. 

William  Caxton,  the  Father  of  the  British  Press. 

Dame  Juliana  Barnes,  and  the  St.  Alban's  Press. 

Wynkyn  de  Worde  and  Richard  Pynson,  the  Illustrious 

Successors  of  William  Caxton. 

The   Aldine   Family   at   Venice. 

The  Giunta  Family  at  Florence. 

The  Society  of  the  Bibliophiles  at  Paris. 

The  Prosperity  of  the  Roxburghe  Club. 

The  Cause  of  Bibliomania  all  over  the  World 

M  2 


1(54  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LOAWON: 

To  show  that  the  pursuits  of  the  Roxburghe  Club  have 
been  estimated  with  a  difference,  we  quote  what  may  be 
termed  "  another  side  of  the  question  ": — 

"  Among  other  follies  of  the  age  of  paper,  which  took  place 
in  England  at  the  end  of  the  reign  of  George  III.,  a  set  of 
book-fanciers,  who  had  more  money  than  wit,  formed  them- 
selves into  a  club,  and  appropriately  designated  themselves 
the  Bibliomaniacs.  Dr.  Dibden  was  their  organ ;  and 
among  the  club  were  several  noblemen,  who,  in  other 
respects,  were  esteemed  men  of  sense.  Their  rage  was,  not 
to  estimate  books  according  to  their  intrinsic  worth,  but 
for  their  rarity.  Hence,  any  volume  of  the  vilest  trash, 
which  was  scarce,  merely  because  it  never  had  any  sale, 
fetched  fifty  or  a  hundred  pounds  ;  but  if  it  were  but  one  of 
two  or  three  known  copies,  no  limits  could  be  set  to  the 
price.  Books  altered  in  the  title-page,  or  in  a  leaf,  or  any 
trivial  circumstance  which  varied  a  few  copies,  were  bought 
by  these  soi-disant  maniacs,  at  one,  two,  or  three  hundred 
pounds,  though  the  copies  were  not  really  worth  more  than 
threepence  per  pound.  A  trumpery  edition  of  Boccaccio, 
said  to  be  one  of  two  known  copies,  was  thus  bought  by  a 
noble  marquis  for  1475/.,  though  in  two  or  three  years  after- 
wards he  resold  it  for  500/.  First  editions  of  all  authors, 
and  editions  by  the  first  clumsy  printers,  were  never  sold 
for  less  than  50/.,  100/.,  or  200/. 

"  To  keep  each  other  in  countenance,  these  persons 
formed  themselves  into  a  club,  and,  after  a  Duke,  one  of 
their  fraternity,  called  themselves  the  Roxburghe  Club.  To 
gratify  them,  facsimile  copies  of  clumsy  editions  of  trumpery 
books  were  reprinted ;  and,  in  some  cases,  it  became  worth 
the  while  of  more  ingenious  persons  to  play  off  forgeries 
upon  them.  This  mania  after  awhile  abated ;  and,  in  future 
ages,  it  will  be  ranked  with  the  tuhp  and  the  picture  mania, 
during  which  estates  were  given  for  single  flowers  and 
pictures.'' 

The  Roxburghe  Club  still  exists;  and,  with  the  Dilet- 


THE  SOCIE  ry  OF  PAS  T  0  VERSEEKS.  1 65 

tanti  Society,  may  justly  be  said  to  have  suggested  tlie 
Publishing  Societies  of  the  present  day,  at  the  head  of  which 
is  the  Camden.  The  late  Duke  of  Devonshire  was  a  mu- 
nificent member  of  the  Roxburghe. 

The  Society  of  Past  Overseers,  Westminster. 

There  are  several  parochial  Clubs  in  the  metropolis ;  but 
that  of  the  important  parish  of  St.  Margaret's,  Westminster, 
with  "  Past  Overseers "  for  its  members,  has  signalized 
itself  by  the  accumulation  and  preservation  of  an  unique 
heirloom,  which  is  a  very  curious  collection  of  memorials  of 
the  last  century  and  a  half,  exhibiting  various  tastes  and 
styles  of  art  in  their  respective  commemorations,  in  a  sort 
of  chronology  in  silver. 

Such  is  the  St.  Margaret's  Overseer's  Box,  which  origin- 
ated as  follows.  It  appears  that  a  Mr.  Monck  purchased, 
at  Horn  Fair,  held  at  Charlton,  Kent,  a  small  tobacco-box 
for  the  sum  of  fourpence,  from  which  he  often  replenished 
his  neighbour's  pipe,  at  the  meetings  of  his  predecessors  and 
companions  in  the  office  of  Overseers  of  the  Poor,  to  whom 
the  Box  was  presented  in  17 13.  In  1720,  the  Society  of 
Past  Overseers  ornamented  the  lid  with  a  silver  rim,  com- 
memorating the  donor.  In  1726,  a  silver  side  case  and 
bottom  were  added.  In  1740,  an  embossed  border  was 
placed  upon  the  lid,  and  the  under  part  enriched  with  an 
emblem  of  Charity.  In  1 746,  Hogarth  engraved  inside  the 
lid  a  bust  of  the  Duke  of  Cumberland,  with  allegorical 
figures,  and  scroll  commemorating  the  Battle  of  Culloden. 
In  1765,  an  interwoven  scroll  was  added  to  the  lid,  enclos- 
ing a  plate  with  the  arms  of  the  City  of  Westminster,  and 
inscribed  :  "  This  Box  to  be  delivered  to  every  succeeding 
set  of  Overseers,  on  penalty  of  five  guineas." 

The  original  Horn  box  being  thus  ornamented,  additional 
cases  were  provided  by  the  Senior  Overseers  for  the  time 
being, — namely,  silver  plates  engraved  with  emblematical 


155  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

and  historical  subjects  and  busts.     Among  the  first  are  a 
View  of  the  Fireworks  in  St.  James's  Park,  to  celebrate  the 
Peace  of  Aix-la-Chapelle,  1749;  Admiral  Keppel's  Action 
off  Ushant,  and  his  acquittal  after  a  court-martial ;  the  Battle 
of  the  Nile;   the  Repulse  of  Admiral   Linois,   1804;  the 
Battle   of  Trafalgar,   1805  ;  the  Action  between  the   San 
Fiorenzo  and  La  Pi6montaise,  1808;  the  Battle  of  Water- 
loo,   1815 ;  the  Bombardment  of  Algiers,  181 6;  View  of 
the  House  of  Lords  at  the  Trial  of  Queen  Caroline ;  the 
Coronation  of  George  IV. ;  and  his  Visit  to  Scotland,  1822. 
There  are  also — Portraits  of  John  Wilkes,  Churchwarden 
in  1759  ;  Nelson,  Duncan,  Howe,  Vincent;  Fox  and  Pitt, 
1806;  George  IV.  as  Prince  Regent,  181 1;  the  Princess 
Charlotte,   1817;  and  Queen  Charlotte,   1818.       But  the 
more  interesting  representations  are  those  of  local  circum- 
stances ;   as   the   Interior   of  Westminster  Hall,  with  the 
Westminster  Volunteers,  attending  Divine  Service  at  the 
drum-head  on   the   Fast   Day,    1803  ;    the   Old   Sessions 
House ;  a  view  of  St.  Margaret's,  from  the  north-east ;  and 
the  West  Front  Tower,  and  altar-piece.  In  1813,  a  large  silver 
plate  was  added  to  the  outer  case,  with  a  portrait  of  the 
Duke  of  Wellington,  commemorating  the  centenary  of  the 
agglomeration  of  the  Box. 

The  top  of  the  second  case  represents  the  Governors  of 
the  Poor,  in  their  Board-room,  and  this  inscription :  "  The 
original  Box  and  cases  to  be  given  to  every  succeeding  set 
of  Overseers,  on  penalty  of  fifty  guineas,  1783."  On  the 
outside  of  the  first  case  is  a  clever  engraving  of  a  cripple. 

In  1785,  Mr.  Gilbert  exhibited  the  Box  to  some  friends 
after  dinner :  at  night,  thieves  broke  in,  and  carried  off  all 
the  plate  that  had  been  in  use;  but  the  box  had  been 
removed  beforehand  to  a  bedchamber. 

In  1793,  Mr.  Read,  a  Past  Overseer,  detained  the  Box, 
because  his  accounts  were  not  passed.  An  action  was 
brought  for  its  recovery,  which  was  long  delayed,  owing  to 
two  members  of  the  Society  giving  Read  a  release,  which 


THE  SOCIETY  OP  PAST  OVERSEERS.  167 

he  successfully  pleaded  in  bar  to  the  action.  This  rendered 
it  necessary  to  take  proceedings  in  equity :  accordingly,  a 
Bill  was  filed  in  Chancery  against  all  three,  and  Read  was 
compelled  to  deposit  the  box  with  Master  Leeds  until  the 
end  of  the  suit.  Three  years  of  litigation  ensued.  Eventu- 
ally the  Chancellor  directed  the  Box  to  be  restored  to  the 
Overseers'  Society,  and  Mr.  Read  paid  in  costs  300/.  The 
extra  costs  amounted  to  76/.  13^.  i\d.,  owing  to  the  illegal 
proceedings  of  Mr.  Read.  The  sum  of  91/.  7J.  was  at  once 
raised;  and  the  surplus  spent  upon  a  third  case,  of  octagon 
shape.  The  top  records  the  triumph  :  Justice  trampling 
upon  a  prostrate  man,  from  whose  face  a  mask  falls  upon  a 
writhing  serpent.  A  second  plate,  on  the  outside  of  the  fly- 
lid,  represents  the  Lord  Chancellor  Loughborough,  pro- 
nouncing his  decree  for  the  restoration  of  the  Box,  March  5, 
1796. 

On  the  fourth,  or  outer  case,  is  the  Anniversary  Meeting 
of  the  Past  Overseers'  Society,  with  the  Churchwardens 
giving  the  charge  previous  to  delivering  the  Box  to  the  suc- 
ceeding Overseer,  who  is  bound  to  produce  it  at  certain 
parochial  entertainments,  with  three  pipes  of  tobacco  at  the 
least,  under  the  penalty  of  six  bottles  of  claret ;  and  to 
return  the  whole,  with  some  addition,  safe  and  sound,  under 
a  penalty  of  200  guineas. 

A  tobacco-stopper  of  mother-of-pearl,  with  a  silver  chain, 
is  enclosed  within  the  Box,  and  completes  this  unique 
Memorial  of  the  kindly  feeling  which  perpetuates  year  by 
year  the  old  ceremonies  of  this  united  parish ;  and  renders 
this  traditionary  piece  of  plate  of  great  price,  far  outweighing 
its  intrinsic  value.* 


*  "  Westminster."     By  the  Rev.  Mackenzie  S.  C.  Walcott,  M.A., 
Curate  of  St.  Margaret's,  1849,  pp.  105-107. 


t6S 


The  Robin  Hood. 

In  the  reign  of  George  the  Second  there  met,  at  a  house 
in  Essex-street,  in  the  Strand,  the  Robin  Hood  Society,  a 
debating  Club,  at  which,  every  Monday,  questions  were 
proposed,  and  any  member  might  speak  on  them  for  seven 
minutes;  after  which  the  "baker,"  who  presided  with  a 
hammer  in  his  hand,  summed  up  the  arguments.  Arthur 
Mainwaring  and  Dr.  Hugh  Chamberlain  were  among  the 
earliest  members  of  this  Society.  Horace  Walpole  notices 
the  Robin  Hood  as  one  of  the  celebrities  which  Monsieur 
Beaumont  saw  in  1761  :  "  It  is  incredible,"  says  Walpole, 
"  what  pains  he  has  taken  to  see :"  he  breakfasted  at  Straw- 
berry Hill  with  Walpole,  who  was  then  "as  much  a  curiosity 
to  all  foreigners  as  the  tombs  and  lions." 

The  Robin  Hood  became  famous  as  the  scene  of  Burke's 
earliest  eloquence.  To  discipline  themselves  in  pubUc 
speaking  at  its  meetings  was  then  the  custom  among  law- 
students,  and  others  intended  for  public  life  ;  and  it  is  said 
that  at  the  Robin  Hood,  Burke  had  to  encounter  an  oppo- 
nent whom  nobody  else  could  overcome,  or  at  least  silence : 
this  person  was  the  president.  Oliver  Goldsmith  was  intro- 
duced to  the  Club  by  Samuel  Derrick,  his  acquaintance  and 
countryman.  Struck  by  the  eloquence  and  imposing  aspect  of 
the  president,  who  sat  in  a  large  gilt  chair,  Goldsmith  thought 
Nature  had  meant  him  for  a  lord  chancellor :  "  No,  no," 
whispered  Derrick,  who  knew  him  to  be  a  wealthy  baker 
from  the  city,  "only  for  a  master  of  the  rolls."  Goldsmith 
was  little  of  an  orator;  but,  till  Derrick  went  away  to 
succeed  Beau  Nash,  at  Bath,  seems  to  have  continued  his 
visits,  and  even  spoke  occasionally ;  for  he  figures  in  an 
account  of  the  members  published  at  about  this  time,  as  "a 
candid  disputant,  with  a  clear  head  and  an  honest  heart, 
though  coming  but  seldom  to  the  society." 

One   of  the  members  of  this   Robin   Hood  was  Peter 


THE  BLUE-STOCKING  CLUB.  169 

Annet,  a  man  who,  though  ingenious  and  deserving  in  other 
respects,  became  unhappilly  notorious  by  a  kind  of  fanatic 
crusade  against  the  Bible,  for  which  (published  weekly 
papers  against  the  Book  of  Genesis,)  he  stood  twice  in  one 
year  in  the  pillory,  and  then  underwent  imprisonment  in  the 
King's  Bench.  To  Annet's  room  in  that  prison  went 
Goldsmith,  taking  with  him  Newbery,  the  publisher,  to 
conclude  the  purchase  of  a  Child's  Grammar  from  the  pri- 
soner, hoping  so  to  relieve  his  distress ;  but  on  the  prudent 
publisher  suggesting  that  no  name  should  appear  on  the 
title-page,  and  Goldsmith  agreeing  that  circumstances  made 
this  advisable,  Annet  accused  them  both  of  cowardice,  and 
rejected  their  assistance  with  contempt.* 

The  Blue-stocking  Club. 

The  earliest  mention  of  a  Blue-Stocking,  or  Bas  Bleu, 
occurs  in  the  Greek  comedy,  entitled  the  Banquet  of  Plu- 
tarch. The  term  as  applied  to  a  lady  of  high  literary  taste, 
has  been  traced  by  Mills,  in  his  History  of  Chivalry,  to  the 
Society  de  la  Calza,  formed  at  Venice  in  1400,  "  when, 
consistently  with  the  singular  custom  of  the  Italians,  of 
marking  academies  and  other  intellectual  associations  by 
some  external  sign  of  folly,  the  members,  when  they  met  in 
literary  discussion,  were  distinguished  by  the  colour  of  their 
stockings.  The  colours  were  sometimes  fantastically 
blended ;  and  at  other  times  one  colour,  particularly  blue, 
prevailed."  The  Society  de  la  Calza  lasted  till  1590,  when 
the  foppery  of  Italian  literature  took  some  other  S3maboI. 
The  rejected  title  then  crossed  the  Alps,  and  found  a  con- 
genial soil  in  Parisian  society,  and  particularly  branded 
female  pedantry.  It  then  diverted  from  France  to  England, 
and  for  awhile  marked  the  vanity  of  the  small  advances  in 
literature  in  female  coteries. 


*  Forster's  Life  of  Goldsmith,  p.  253. 


£70  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

But  the  Bluestocking  of  the  last  century  is  of  home- 
groAvth;  for  Boswell,  in  his  Life  of  Johnson,  date  1781, 
records :  "  About  this  time  it  was  much  the  fashion  for 
several  ladies  to  have  evening  assemblies,  where  the  fair  sex 
might  participate  in  conversation  with  literary  and  ingenious 
men,  animated  by  a  desire  to  please.  One  of  the  most 
eminent  members  of  these  societies,  when  they  first  com- 
menced, was  Mr.  Stillingfleet  (grandson  of  the  Bishop), 
whose  dress  was  remarkably  grave  ;  and  in  particular  it  was 
observed  that  he  wore  blue  stockings.  Such  was  the  excel- 
lence of  his  conversation,  that  his  absence  was  felt  so  great 
a  loss  that  it  used  to  be  said,  '  We  can  do  nothing  without 
the  blue  stockings ;'  and  thus  by  degrees  the  title  was  estab- 
lished. Miss  Hannah  More  has  admirably  described  a 
Blue-Stocking  Club,  in  her  Bas-Bleu,  a  poem  in  which  many 
of  the  persons  who  were  most  conspicuous  there  are  men- 
tioned. And  Horace  Walpole  speaks  of  this  production  as 
"  a  charming  poetic  familiarity  called  '  the  Blue-Stocking 
Club.' " 

The  Club  met  at  the  house  of  Mrs.  Montagu,  at  the  north- 
west angle  of  Portman-square.  Forbes,  in  his  Life  of  Beattie, 
gives  another  account :  "  This  Society  consisted  originally 
of  Mrs.  Montagu,  Mrs.  Vesey,  Miss  Boscawen,  and  Mrs. 
Carter,  Lord  Lyttelton,  Mr.  Pulteney,  Horace  Walpole,  and 
Mr.  Stillingfleet.  To  the  latter  gentleman,  a  man  of  great 
piety  and  worth,  and  author  of  some  works  in  natural  history, 
etc.,  this  constellation  of  talents  owed  that  whimsical  ajjpel- 
lation  of  '  Bas-Bleu.'  Mr.  Stillingfleet  being  somewhat  of 
an  humourist  in  his  habits  and  manners,  and  a  little  negli- 
gent in  his  dress,  literally  wore  gi-ay  stockings ;  from  which 
circumstance  Admiral  Boscawen  used,  by  way  of  pileasantry, 
to  call  them  "  The  Blue-Stocking  Society,'  as  if  to  intimate 
that  when  these  brilliant  friends  met,  it  was  not  for  the  pur- 
pose of  forming  a  dressed  assembly.  A  foreigner  of  distinc- 
tion hearing  the  expression,  translated  it  literally,  'Bas- 
Bleu,'  by  which  these  meetings  came  to  be  afterwards  dis- 


THE  IVY-LANE  CLUB.  171 

tinguished."  Dr.  Johnson  sometimes  joined  the  circle. 
The  last  of  the  Club  was  the  lively  Miss  Monckton,  after- 
wards Countess  of  Cork,  "  who  used  to  have  the  finest  bit  of 
blue  at  the  house  of  her  mother,  Lady  Galway."  Lady  Cork 
died  at  upwards  of  ninety  years  of  age,  at  her  house  in  New 
Burlington-street,  in  1840. 

The  Ivy  Lane  Club. 

This  was  one  of  the  creations  of  Dr.  Johnson's  clubbable 
nature,  which  served  as  recreation  for  this  laborious  worker. 
He  was  now  "  tugging  at  the  oar  "  in  Gough-square,  Fleet- 
street.  Boswell  describes  him  as  "  engaged  in  a  steady, 
continued  course  of  occupation."  "  But  his  enlarged  and 
lively  mind  could  not  be  satisfied  without  more  diversity  of 
emplo}Tnent,  and  the  pleasure  of  animated  relaxation.  He, 
therefore,  not  only  exerted  his  talents  in  occasional  compo- 
sition, very  different  from  lexicography,  but  formed  a  Club 
in  Ivy-lane,  Paternoster-row,  with  a  view  to  enjoy  literary 
discussion,  and  amuse  his  evening  hours.  The  members 
associated  with  him  in  this  little  Society  were — his  beloved 
friend,  Dr.  Richard  Bathurst ;  Mr.  Hawkesworth,  afterwards 
well  known  by  his  writings ;  Mr.  John  Hawkins,  an  attor- 
ney ;  and  a  few  others  of  different  professions."  The  Club 
met  every  Tuesday  evening  at  the  King's  Head,  a  beef-steak 
house  in  Ivy-lane.  One  of  the  members,  Hawkins,  then  Sir 
John,  has  given  a  very  lively  picture  of  a  celebration  by  this 
Club,  at  the  Devil  Tavern,  in  Fleet-street,  which  forms  one 
of  the  pleasantest  pages  in  the  Author's  Life  of  Johnson. 
Sir  John  tells  us  : 

"  One  evening  at  the  [Ivy-lane]  Club,  Dr.  Johnson  pro- 
proposed  to  us  celebrating  the  birth  of  Mrs.  Lennox's  first 
literary  child,  as  he  called  her  book,  by  a  whole  night  spent 
in  festivity.  The  place  appointed  was  the  Devil  Tavern ; 
and  there,  about  the  hour  of  eight,  Mrs.  Lennox,  and  her 
husband,  and  a  lady  of  her  acquaintance  now  living  [1785], 


172  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

as  also  the  Club  and  friends,  to  the  number  of  nearly  twenty, 
assembled.  Our  supper  was  elegant,  and  Johnson  had 
directed  that  a  magnificent  hot  apple-pye  should  make  a 
part  of  it,  and  this  he  would  have  stuck  with  bay-leaves, 
because,  forsooth,  Mrs.  Lennox  was  an  authoress,  and  had 
written  verses ;  and  further,  he  had  prepared  for  her  a 
crown  of  laurel,  with  which,  but  not  until  he  had  invoked 
the  Muses  by  some  ceremonies  of  his  own  invention,  he 
encircled  her  brows.  The  night  passed,  as  must  be  ima- 
gined, in  pleasant  conversation  and  harmless  mirth,  inter- 
mingled, at  different  periods,  with  the  refreshments  of  coffee 
and  tea.  About  five,  Johnson's  face  shone  with  meridian 
splendour,  though  his  drink  had  been  only  lemonade ;  but 
the  far  greater  part  of  us  had  deserted  the  colours  of 
Bacchus,  and  were  with  difficulty  rallied  to  partake  of  a 
second  refreshment  of  coffee,  which  was  scarcely  ended 
when  the  day  began  to  dawn.  This  phenomenon  began  to 
put  us  in  mind  of  our  reckoning ;  but  the  waiters  were  all 
so  overcome  with  sleep,  that  it  was  two  hours  before  we 
could  get  a  bill,  and  it  was  not  till  near  eight  that  the 
creaking  of  the  street-door  gave  the  signal  for  our  depar- 
ture." 

When  Johnson,  the  year  before  his  death,  endeavoured  to 
re-assemble  as  many  of  the  Club  as  were  left,  he  found,  to  his 
regret,  he  wrote  to  Hawkins,  that  Horseman,  the  landlord, 
was  dead,  and  the  house  shut  up. 

About  this  time  Johnson  instituted  a  Club  at  the  Queen's 
Arms,  in  St.  Paul's  Churchyard.  "  He  told  Mr.  Hook," 
says  Boswell,  "  that  he  wished  to  have  a  City  Club,  and 
asked  him  to  collect  one  ;  but,"  said  he,  "  don't  let  them  be 
patriots."  ("  Boswell's  Life,"  8th  edit.  vol.  iv.  p.  93.)  This 
was  an  allusion  to  the  friends  of  his  acquaintance  Wilkes, 
oswell  accompanied  him  one  day  to  the  Club,  and  found 
the  members  '•'  very  sensible,  well-behaved  men." 


173 


The  Essex  Head  Club. 

In  the  year  before  he  died,  at  the  Essex  Head,  now 
No.  40,  in  Essex-street,  Strand,  Dr.  Johnson  established  a 
little  evening  Club,  under  circumstances  peculiarly  interesting 
as  described  by  Boswell.  He  tells  us  that,  "  notwithstanding 
the  complication  of  disorders  under  which  Johnson  now 
laboured,  he  did  not  resign  himself  to  despondency  and 
discontent,  but  with  wisdom  and  spirit  endeavoured  to 
console  and  amuse  his  mind  with  as  many  innocent  enjoy- 
ments as  he  could  procure.  Sir  John  Hawkins  has  men- 
tioned the  cordiality  with  which  he  insisted  that  such  of  the 
members  of  the  old  Club  in  Ivy-lane  as  survived,  should 
meet  again  and  dine  together,  which  they  did,  twice  at  a 
tavern,  and  once  at  his  house ;  and,  in  order  to  ensure  him- 
self in  the  evening  for  three  days  in  the  week,  Johnson 
instituted  a  Club  at  the  Essex  Head,  in  Essex-street,  then 
kept  by  Samuel  Greaves,  an  old  servant  of  Mr.  Thrale's  :  it 
was  called  "  Sam's." 

On  Dec.  4,  1783,  Johnson  wrote  to  Sir  Joshua  Reynolds, 
giving  an  account  of  this  Club,  of  which  Reynolds  had 
desired  to  be  one ;  "  the  company,"  Dr.  J.  says,  "  is  nume- 
rous, and,  as  you  will  see  by  the  list,  miscellaneous.  The 
terms  are  lax,  and  the  expenses  hght.  Mr.  Barry  was 
adopted  by  Dr.  Brocklesby,  who  joined  with  me  in  forming 
the  plan.  We  meet  twice  a  week,  and  he  who  misses 
forfeits  twopence."  It  did  not  suit  Sir  Joshua  to  be  one  of 
this  Club ;  "  but,"  says  Boswell,  "  when  I  mention  only  Mr. 
Daines  Barrington,  Dr.  Brocklesby,  Mr.  Murphy,  Mr.  John 
Nichols,  Mr.  Cooke,  Mr.  Joddrel,  Mr.  Paradise,  Dr. 
Horsley,  Mr.  Windham,  I  shall  sufficiently  obviate  the 
misrepresentation  of  it  by  Sir  John  Hawkins,  as  if  it  had 
been  a  low  ale-house  association,  by  which  Johnson  was 
degraded.  The  doctor  himself,  like  his  namesake.  Old  Ben, 
composed  the  Rules  of  his   Club.     Boswell  was,  at  this 


174  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

time,  in  Scotland,  and  during  all  the  winter.  Johnson, 
however,  declared  that  he  should  be  a  member,  and  invented 
a  word  upon  the  occasion :  "  Boswell,"  said  he,  "  is  a  very 
clubbable  man ;"  and  he  was  subsequently  chosen  of  the 
Club. 
Johnson  headed  the  Rules  with  these  lines  ; — 

To-day  deep  thoughts  with  me  resolve  to  drench 
In  mirth,  which  after  no  repenting  draws. — Milton, 

Johnson's  attention  to  the  Club  was  unceasing,  as  appears 
by  a  letter  to  Alderman  Clark,  (afterwards  Lord  Mayor  and 
Chamberlain,)  who  was  elected  into  the  Club  :  the  post- 
script is  :  "  You  ought  to  be  informed  that  the  forfeits  began 
with  the  year,  and  that  every  night  of  non-attendance  incurs 
the  mulct  of  threepence;  that  is,  ninepence  a  week." 
Johnson  himself  was  so  anxious  in  his  attendance,  that 
going  to  meet  the  Club  when  he  was  not  strong  enough,  he 
was  seized  with  a  spasmodic  asthma,  so  violent,  that  he 
could  scarcely  return  home,  and  he  was  confined  to  his 
house  eight  or  nine  weeks.  He  recovered  by  May  15, 
when  he  was  in  fine  spirits  at  the  Club. 

Boswell  writes  of  the  Essex :  "  I  believe  there  are  few 
Societies  where  there  is  better  conversation,  or  more  de- 
corum. Several  of  us  resolved  to  continue  it  after  our  great 
founder  was  removed  by  death.  Other  members  were 
added ;  and  now,  above  eight  years  since  that  loss,  v/e  go 
on  happily." 

The  Literary  Club. 

Out  of  the  casual,  but  fi'equent  meetings  of  men  of  talent 
at  the  hospitable  board  of  Sir  Joshua  Reynolds,  in  Leicester- 
square,  rose  that  association  of  wits,  authors,  scholars,  and 
statesmen,  renowned  as  the  Literary  Club.  Reynolds  was 
the  first  to  propose  a  regular  association  of  the  kind,  andwa,s 
eagerly  seconded  by  Johnson,  who  suggested  as  a  model  the 
Club  which  he  had  formed  some  fourteen  years   previously, 


THE  LITERARY  CLUB.  ,-75 

in  Ivy-lane  j*  and  which  the  deaths  or  dispersion  of  its 
members  had  now  interrupted  for  nearly  seven  years.  On 
this  suggestion  being  adopted,  the  members,  as  in  the  earlier 
Club,  were  limited  to  nine,  and  Mr.  Hawkins,  as  an  original 
member  of  the  Ivy-lane  Club,  was  invited  to  join.  Topham 
Beauclerk  and  Bennet  Langton  were  asked  and  welcomed 
earnestly ;  and,  of  course,  Mr.  Edmund  Burke.  The  notion 
of  the  Club  delighted  Burke ;  and  he  asked  admission  for 
his  father-in-law,  Dr.  Nugent,  an  accomplished  Roman 
Catholic  physician,  who  lived  with  him.  Beauclerk,  in  like 
manner,  suggested  his  friend  Chamier,  then  Under-Secretary- 
at-War.  Oliver  Goldsmith  completed  the  number.  But 
another  member  of  the  original  Ivy-lane,  Samuel  Dyer, 
making  unexpected  appearance  from  abroad,  in  the  follow- 
ing year,  was  joyfully  admitted;  and  though  it  was  resolved 
to  make  election  difficult,  and  only  for  special  reasons 
permit  addition  to  their  number,  the  limitation  at  first 
proposed  was  thus,  of  course,  done  away  with.  Twenty  was 
the  highest  number  reached  in  the  course  of  ten  years. 

The  dates  of  the  Club  are  thus  summarily  given  by  Mr. 
Hatchett,  the  treasurer: — It  was  founded  in  1764,  by  Sir 
Joshua  Reynolds.and  Dr.  Samuel  Johnson,  and  for  some  years 
met  on  Monday  evenings,  at  seven.  In  1772,  the  day  of 
meeting  was  changed  to  Friday,  and  about  that  time,  instead 
of  supping,  they  agreed  to  dine  together  once  in  every 
fortnight  during  the  sitting  of  Parliament.  In  1773,  the 
Club,  which  soon  after  its  foundation  consisted  of  twelve 
members,  was  enlarged  to  twenty;  March  ti,  1777,  to 
twenty-six;  November  27,  1778,  to  thirty;  May  9,  1780,  to 
thirty-five ;  and  it  was  then  resolved  that  it  should  never 
exceed  forty.:  It  met  originally  at  the  Turk's  Head,  in 
Gerard-street,  and  continued  to  meet  there  till  1783,  when 


*  The  house  in  Ivy-lane,  which  bore  the  name  of  Johnson,  and  where 
Ih?.  Literary  Chib  is  said  to  have  been  held,  was  burnt  down  a  few  years 
since  :  it  had  long  been  a  chop-house. 


176  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

their  landlord  died,  and  the  house  was  soon  afterwards  shut 
up.  They  then  removed  to  Prince's  in  Saville-street ;  and 
on  his  house  being,  soon  afterwards,  shut  up,  they  removed 
to  Baxter's,  which  afterwards  became  Thomas's,  in  Dover- 
street.  In  January,  1792,  they  removed  to  Parsloe's,  in 
St.  James's-street ;  and  on  February  26,  1799,  to  the 
Thatched  House,  in  the  same  Street. 

"So  originated  and  was  formed,"  says  Mr.  Forster,  "  that 
famous  Club,  which  had  made  itself  a  name  in  literary 
history  long  before  it  received,  at  Garrick's  funeral,  the 
name  of  the  Literary  Club,  by  which  it  is  now  known.  Its 
meetings  were  noised  abroad  ;  the  fame  of  its  conversations 
received  eager  addition,  from  the  difficulty  of  obtaining 
admission  to  it ;  and  it  came  to  be  as  generally  understood 
that  Literature  had  fixed  her  head-quarters  here,  as  that 
Politics  reigned  supreme  at  Wildman's,  or  the  Cocoa-tree. 
With  advantage,  let  me  add,  to  the  dignity  and  worldly 
consideration  of  men  of  letters  themselves.  '  I  believe  Mr. 
Fox  will  allow  me  to  say,'  remarked  the  Bishop  of  St.  Asaph, 
when  the  Society  was  not  more  than  fifteen  years  old,  '  that 
the  honour  of  being  elected  into  the  Turk's  Head  Club,  is 
not  inferior  to  that  of  being  the  representative  of  West- 
minster or  Surrey.'  The  Bishop  had  just  been  elected ;  but 
into  such  lusty  independence  had  the  Club  sprung  up  thus 
early,  that  Bishops,  even  Lord  Chancellors,  were  known  to 
have  knocked  for  admission  unsuccessfully;  and  on  the 
night  of  St.  Asaph's  election,  Lord  Camden  and  the  Bishop 
of  Chester  were  black-balled." 

Of  this  Club,  Hawkins  was  a  most  unpopular  member : 
even  his  old  friend,  Johnson,  admitted  him  to  be  out  of  place 
here.  He  had  objected  to  Goldsmith,  at  the  Club,  "  as  a 
mere  literary  drudge,  equal  to  the  task  of  compiling  and 
translating,  but  little  capable  of  original,  and  still  less  of 
poetical  composition."  Hawkins's  "  existence  was  a  kind  of 
pompous,  parsimonious,  insignificant  drawl,  cleverly  ridiculed 
by  one  of  the  wits  in  an  absurd  epitaph:  'Here  lies  Sir  Jonn 


The  Trumpet,  Shire  Lane,  Temple  Bar. 
[Receiving  Hoiiseof"  The  Taikr.") 


The  Cock,  Tothill  Street,  Westminster. 
[Dating from  ffeniy  Vf.) 


THE  LITERARY  CLUB.  177 

Hawkins,  without  his  shoes  and  stauckin?.' "  He  was  as 
mean  as  he  was  pompous  and  conceited.  He  forbore  to 
partake  of  the  suppers  at  the  Club,  and  begged  therefore  to 
be  excused  from  paying  his  share  of  the  reckoning.  "  And 
was  he  excused?"  asked  Dr.  Burney,  of  Johnson.  "Oh  yes, 
for  no  man  is  angry  at  another  for  being  inferior  to  himself. 
We  all  scorned  him,  and  admitted  his  plea.  Yet  I  really 
believe  him  to  be  an  honest  man  at  bottom,  though,  to  be 
sure,  he  is  penurious  and  he  is  mean,  and  it  must  be  owned 
that  he  has  a  tendency  to  savageness."  He  did  not  remain 
above  two  or  three  years  in  the  Club,  being  in  a  manner 
elbowed  out  in  consequence  of  his  rudeness  to  Burke.  Still, 
Burke's  vehemence  of  will  and  sharp  impetuosity  of  temper 
constantly  exposed  him  to  prejudice  and  dislike ;  and  he 
may  have  painfully  impressed  others,  as  well  as  Hawkins,  at 
the  Club,  with  a  sense  of  his  predominance.  This  was  the 
only  theatre  open  to  him.  "  Here  only,"  says  Mr.  Forster, 
"  could  he  as  yet  pour  forth,  to  an  audience  worth  exciting, 
the  stores  of  argument  and  eloquence  he  was  thirsting  to 
employ  upon  a  wider  stage ;  the  variety  of  knowledge,  the 
fund  of  astonishing  imagery,  the  ease  of  philosophic  illustra- 
tion, the  overpowering  copiousness  of  words,  in  which  he 
has  never  had  a  rival."  Miss  Hawkins  was  convinced  that 
her  father  was  disgusted  with  the  overpowering  deportment 
of  Mr.  Burke,  and  his  monopoly  of  the  conversation,  which 
made  all  the  other  members,  excepting  his  antagonist,  John- 
son, merely  listeners.  Something  of  the  same  sort  is  said  by 
that  antagonist,  though  in  a  more  generous  way.  "  What  I 
most  envy  Burke  for,"  said  Johnson,  "is,  that  he  is  never  what 
we  call  humdrum ;  never  unwilling  to  begin  to  talk,  nor  in 
haste  to  leave  off.  Take  up  whatever  topic  you  please,  he 
is  ready  to  meet  you.  I  cannot  say  he  is  good  at  listening. 
So  desirous  is  he  to  talk,  that  if  one  is  speaking  at  this  end 
of  the  table,  he'll  speak  to  somebody  at  the  other  end." 

The  Club  was  an  opportunity  for  both  Johnson  and  Burke ; 
and  for  the  most  part  their  wit-combats  seeih  not  only  to 

N 


178  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

have  instracted  the  rest,  but  to  have  improved  the  temper  of 
the  combataxits,  and  to  have  made  them  more  generous  to 
each  other.  "  How  very  great  Johnson  has  been  to-night !" 
said  Burke  to  Bennet  Langton,  as  they  left  the  Club  together. 
Langton  assented,  but  could  have  wished  to  hear  more  from 
another  person.  "  Oh  no  !"  replied  Burke,  "  it  is  enough  for 
me  to  have  rung  the  bell  to  him.'' 

One  evening  he  observed  that  a  hogshead  of  claret,  which 
had  been  sent  as  a  present  to  the  Club,  was  almost  out;  and 
proposed  that  Johnson  should  write  for  another,  in  such  am- 
biguity of  expression  as  might  have  a  chance  of  procuring  it 
also  as  a  gift.  One  of  the  company  said,  "  Dr.  Johnson 
shall  be  our  dictator." — "Were  I,"  said  Johnson,  "your 
dictator,  you  should  have  no  wine  :  it  would  be  my  business 
cavere  ne  quid  detrimenti  respublica  caperet : — wine  is  dan- 
gerous ;  Rome  was  ruined  by  luxury."  Burke  replied  :  "  If 
you  allow  no  wine  as  dictator,  you  shall  not  have  me  for 
master  of  the  horse.'' 

Goldsmith,  it  must  be  owned,  joined  the  Club  somewhat 
unwillingly,  saying  :  "  One  must  make  some  sacrifices  to  ob- 
tain good  society ;  for  here  I  am  shut  out  of  several  places 
where  I  used  to  play  the  fool  very  agreeably."  His  simplicity 
of  character  and  hurried  expression  often  led  him  into  ab- 
surdity, and  he  became  in  some  degree  the  butt  of  the  com- 
pany. The  Club,  notwithstanding  all  its  learned  dignity  in 
the  eyes  of  the  world,  could  occasionally  unbend  and  play 
the  fool  as  well  as  less  important  bodies.  Some  of  its  j,ocose 
conyersadons  have  at  times  leaked  out;  and  the  Society  in 
which  Goldsiriith  could  venture  to  sing  his  song  of  "An  Old 
Woman  1^o,sse.d  in  a  Blanket  "  could  not  be  so  very  staid  in 
its  gravity.  Benn6t  Langton  and  Topham  Beauclerk  were 
doubtless  induced  to  join  the  Clu]3^through  their  devotion 
to  Johnson,  and  the  intimacy  of  these  two '  very  young  and 
aristocratic  young  men  with  the  stern  and  somewhat  meilan- 
choly  moralist.  Bennet  Langton, was  of  an  ancient  family, 
who  held  their  ancestral  estate  of  Langton  in  Lincolnshire,  a 


THE  LITERARY  CLUB.  179 

great  title  to  respect  with  Johnson.  "Langton,  Sir,"  he 
would  say,  "has  a  grant  of  free  warren  from  Henry  the 
Second;  and  Cardinal  Stephen  Langton,  in  King  John's 
reign,  was  of  this  family." 

Langton  was  of  a  mild,  contemplative,  enthusiastic  nature. 
When  but  eighteen  years  of  age,  he  was  so  delighted  with 
reading  Johnson's  Rambler,  that  he  came  to  London  chiefly 
with  a  view  to  obtain  an  introduction  to  the  author. 

Langton  went  to  pursue  his  studies  at  Trinity  College, 
Oxford,  where  Johnson  saw  much  of  him  during  a  visi. 
which  he  paid  to  the  University.  He  found  him  in  close 
intimacy  with  Topham  Beauclerk,  a  youth  two  years  older 
than  himself,  very  gay  and  dissipated,  and  wondered  what 
sympathies  could  draw  two  young  men  together  of  such 
opposite  characters.  On  becoming  acquainted  with  Beau- 
clerk,  he  found  that,  rake  though  he  was,  he  possessed  an 
ardent  love  of  literature,  an  acute  understanding,  polished 
wit,  innate  gentility,  and  high  aristocratic  breeding.  He  was, 
moreover,  the  only  son  of  Lord-Sidney  Beauclerk,  and  grand- 
son of  the  Diike  of  St.  Albans,  and  was  thought,  in  some 
particulars,  to  have  a  resemblance  to  Charles  the  Second. 
These  were  high  recommendations  with  Johnson ;  and  when 
the  youth  testified  a  profound  respect  for  him,  and  an  ardent 
admiration  of  'his  talents,  the  conquest  was-  Complete ;  so 
that  in  a  "short  time,"  says  Boswell,  "the  moral,  pious 
Johnson  and  the  gay  dissipated  Beauclerk  were  companions.'' 

When  these  two  young  men  entered  the  Club,  Langton 
was  about  twenty-two,  and  Beauclerk  about  twenty-four  years 
of  age,  and  both  were  launched  on  London  life.  Langton, 
however,  was  still  the  mild,  enthusiastic  scholar,  steeped  to 
the  lips  in  Greek,  with  fine  conversational  powers,  and  an 
invaluable  talent  for  listening.  He  was  upwards  of  six  feet 
high,  and  very  spare.  "  Oh  that  we  could  sketch  him  !"  ex^ 
claims  Miss  Hawkins,  in  her  Memoirs,  "with  his  mild 
countenance,  his.  elegant  features,  and  his  sweet  smile, 
sitting  with  one  leg  twisted  round  the  other,  as  if  fearing  to 

N    2 


l8o  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

occupy  more  space  than  was  equitable ;  his  person  inclining 
forward,  as  if  wanting  strength  to  support  his  weight ;  and 
his  arms  crossed  over  his  bosom,  or  his  hands  locked  to- 
gether on  his  knee."  Beauclerk,  on  such  occasions, 
sportively  compared  him  to  a  stork  in  Raphael's  cartoons, 
standing  on  one  leg.  Beauclerk  was  more  a  "  man  upon 
town,"  a  lounger  in  St.  James's-street,  an  associate  with 
George  Selwyn,  with  Walpole,  and  other  aristocratic  wits,  a 
man  of  fashion  at  court,  a  casual  frequenter  of  the  gaming- 
table ;  yet,  with  all  this,  he  alternated  in  the  easiest  and 
happiest  manner  the  scholar  and  the  man  of  letters  ;  lounged 
into  the  Club  with  the  most  perfect  self-possession,  bringing 
with  him  the  careless  grace  and  pohshed  wit  of  high-bred 
society,  but  making  himself  cordially  at  home  among  his 
learned  fellow-members. 

Johnson  was  exceedingly  chary  at  first  of  the  exclusive- 
ness  of  the  Club,  and  opposed  to  its  being  augmented  in 
number.  Not  long  after  its  institution.  Sir  Joshua  Reynolds 
was  speaking  of  it  to  Garrick.  "  I  like  it  much,"  said  little 
David,  briskly,  "I  think  I  shall  be  of  you."  "When  Sir 
Joshua  mentioned  this  to  Dr.  Johnson,''  says  Boswell,  "he 
was  much  displeased  with  the  actor's  conceit.  '  Hill  be  of 
us  !'  growled  he ;  '  how  does  he  know  we  will  permit  him  ? 
The  first  duke  in  England  has  no  right  to  hold  such  lan- 
guage.'" 

When  Sir  John  Hawkins  spoke  favourably  of  Gamck's 
pretensions,  "  Sir,''  replied  Johnson,  "  he  will  disturb  us  by 
his  buffoonery."  In  the  same  spirit  he  declared  to  Mr. 
Thrale,  that  if  Garrick  should  apply  for  admission,  he  would 
black-ball  him.  "Who,  Sir?"  exclaimed  Thrale,  with  sur- 
prise :  "  Mr.  Garrick — ^your  friend,  your  companion — black- 
ball him  ?"  "  Why,  Sir,"  replied  Johnson,  "  I  love  my  Uttle 
David  dearly — better  than  all  or  any  of  his  flatterers  do ; 
Dut  surely  one  ought  to  sit  in  a  society  like  ours, 

Unelbowed  by  a  gamester,  pimp,  or  player. 


THE  LITERARY  CLUB.  iSl 

The  exclusion  from  the  Club  was  a  sore  mortification  to 
Garrick,  though  he  bore  it  without  complaining.  He  could 
not  help  continually  asking  questions  about  it — what  was 
going  on  there  ? — whether  he  was  ever  the  subject  of  con- 
versation? By  degrees  the  rigour  of  the  Club  relaxed, 
some  of  the  members  grew  negligent.  Beauclerk  lost  his 
right  of  membership  by  neglecting  to  attend.  On  his  mar- 
riage, however,  with  Lady  Diana  Spencer,  daughter  of  the 
Duke  of  Marlborough,  and  recently  divorced  from  Viscount 
Bolingbroke,  he  had  claimed  and  regained  his  seat  in  the 
Club.  The  number  of  the  members  had  likewise  been 
augmented.  The  proposition  to  increase  it  originated  with 
Goldsmith.  "  It  would  give,"  he  thought,  "an  agreeable 
variety  to  their  meetings ;  for  there  can  be  nothing  new 
amongst  us,"  said  he  ;  "we  have  travelled  over  each  other's 
minds."  Johnson  was  piqued  at  the  suggestion.  "Sir," 
said  he,  "  you  have  not  travelled  over  my  mind,  I  promise 
you."  Sir  Joshua,  less  confident  in  the  exhaustless  fecundity 
of  his  mind,  felt  and  acknowledged  the  force  of  Goldsmith's 
suggestion.  Several  new  members,  therefore,  had  been 
added ;  the  first,  to  his  great  joy,  was  David  Garrick. 
Goldsmith,  who  was  now  on  cordial  terms  with  him,  had 
zealously  promoted  his  election,  and  Johnson  had  given  it 
his  warm  approbation.  Another  new  member  was  Beauclerk's 
friend,  Lord  Charlemont ;  and  a  still  more  important  one 
was  Mr.,  afterwards  Sir  William  Jones,  the  linguist.  George 
Colman,  the  elder,  was  a  lively  Club-man.  One  evening  at 
the  Club  he  met  Boswell ;  they  talked  of  Johnson's  y^z^^wf)' 
to  the  Western  Islands,  and  of  his  coming  away  "willing  to 
believe  the  second  sight,"  which  seemed  to  excite  some 
ridicule.  "  I  was  then,"  says  Boswell,  "  so  impressed  with 
the  truth  of  many  of  the  stories  which  I  had  been  told,  that 
I  avowed  my  conviction,  saying,  "  He  is  only  willing  to  be- 
lieve— I  do  believe ;  the  evidence  is  enough  for  me,  though 
not  for  his  great  mind.    What  will  not  fill  a  quart  bottle  will 


i82  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDOM. 

fill  a  pint  bottle  ;  I  am  filled  with  belief." — "  Are  you?"  said 
Colman  ;  "  then  cork  it  up." 

Five  years  after  the  death  of  Garrick,  Dr.  Johnson  dined 
with  the  Club  for  the  last  time.  This  is  one  of  the  most 
melancholy  entries  by  Boswell.  .  "On  Tuesday,  June  22 
(1784),  I  dined  with  him  (Johnson)  at  the  Literary  Club, 
the  last  time  of  his  being  in  that  respectable  society.  The 
other  members  present  were  the  Bishop  of  St.  Asaph,  Lord 
Eliot,  Lord  Palmerston  (father  of  the  Premier),  Dr.  Fordyce, 
and  Mr.  Malone.  He  looked  ill ;  but  he  had  such  a  manly 
fortitude,  that  he  did  not  trouble  the  company  with  melan- 
choly complaints.  They  all  showed  evident  marks  of  kind 
concern  about  him,  with  which  he  was  much  pleased,  and  he 
exerted  himself  to  be  as  entertaining  as  his  indisposition 
allowed  him." 

From  the  time  of  Garrick's  death  the  Club  was  known  as 
"  The  Literary  Club,"  since  which  it  has  certainly  lost  its 
claim  to  this  epithet.  It  was  originally  a  club  of  authors  by 
profession;  it  now  numbers  very  few  except  titled  members 
(the  majority  having  some  claims  to  literary  distinction), 
which  was  very  far  from  the  intention  of  its  founders.  To 
this  the  author  of  the  paper  in  the  National  Review  demurs. 
Writing  in  1857,  he  says  :  "  Perhaps  it  now  numbers  on  its 
list  more  titled  members  and  fewer  authors  by  profession, 
than  its  founders  would  have  considered  desirable.  This 
opinion,  however,  is  quite  open  to  challenge.  Such  men  as 
the  Marquis  of  Lansdowne,  the  late  Lord  Ellesmere,  Lords 
Brougham,  CarHsle,  Aberdeen,  and  Glenelg,  hold  their  place 
in  '  the  Literary  Club  '  quite  as  much  by  virtue  of  their  con- 
tributions to  literature,  or  their  enlightened  support  of  it,  as 
by  their  right  of  rank."  [How  many  of  these  noble  members 
have  since  paid  the  debt  of  natiire  !] 

"  At  all  events,"  says  Mr.  Taylor,  "  the  Club  still  acknow- 
ledges literature  as  its  foundation,  and  love  of  literature 
as  the  tie  which  binds  together  its  members,  whatever  their 
rank  and  callings.  Few  Clubs  can  show  such  a  distinguished 


THE  LITERARY  CLUB.  183 

brotherhood  of  members  as  'the  Literary.'  Of  authors 
proper,  from  1764  to  this  date  (1857),  may  be  enumerated, 
besides  its  original  members,  Johnson  and  Goldsmith,  Dyer, 
and  Percy,  Gibbon  and  Sir  William  Jones,  Colman,  the  two 
Wartons,  Parmer,  Steevens,  Burney,  and  Malone,  Frere  and 
George  Ellis,  Hallam,  Milman,  Mountstuart  Elphinstone, 
and  Lord  Stanhope. 

"Among  men  equally  conspicuous  in  letters  and  the 
Senate,  what  names  outshine  those  of  Burke  and  Sheridan, 
Canning,  Brougham,  and  Macaulay  ?  Of  statesmen  and 
orators  proper,  the  Club  claims  Fox,  Windham,  Thomas 
Grenville,  Lord  Liverpool;  Lords  Lansdowne,  Aberdeen,  and 
Clarendon.  Natural  science  is  represented  by  Sir  Joseph 
Banks,  in  the  last  century ;  by  Professor  Owen  in  this.  Social 
science  can  have  no  nobler  representative  than  Adam  Smith ; 
albeit,  Boswell  did  think  the  Club  had  lost  caste  by  electing 
him.  Mr.  N.  W.  Senior  is  the  political  economist  of  the 
present  Club.  Whewell  must  stand  alone  as  the  embodi- 
ment of  omniscience,  which  before  him  was  unrepresented. 
Scholars  and  soldiers  may  be  equally  proud  of  Rennel,  Leake, 
and  Mure.  Besides  the  clergymen  already  enumerated" 
as  authors,  the  Church  has  contributed  a  creditable  list  of 
bishops  and  inferior  dignitaries :  Shipley  of  St.  Asaph, 
Barnard  of  Killaloe,  Marley  of  Pomfret,  HinchclifFe  of 
Peterborough,  Douglas  of  Salisbury,  Blomfield  of  London, 
Wilberforce  of  Oxford,  Dean  Vincent  of  Westminster,  Arch- 
deacon Burney ;  and  Dr.  Hawtrey,  late  master  and  present 
provost  of  Eton. 

"  Sir  Joshua  Reynolds  and  Sir  Charles  Eastlake  are  its 
two  chief  pillars  of  art,  slightly  unequal.  With  them  we  may 
associate  Sir  'William  Chambers  and  Charles  Wilkins.  The 
presence  of  Drs.  Nugent,  Blagden,  Fordyce,  Warren, 
Vaughan,  and  Sir  Henrj'  Halford,  is  a  proof  that  in  the 
Club  medicine  has  from  the  first  kept  up  its  kinship  with 
literature. 

"  The  profession  of  the  Lrav  has  given  the  Society  Lord 


i84  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

Ashburton,  Lord  Stowell,  and  Sir  William  Grant,  Charles 
Austin,  and  Pemberton  Leigh.  Lord  Overstone  may  stand 
as  the  symbol  of  money;  unless  Sir  George  Cornewall 
Lewis  is  to  be  admitted  to  that  honour  by  virtue  of  his 
Chancellorship  of  the  Exchequer.  Sir  George  would, 
probably,  prefer  his  claims  to  Club  membership  as  a 
scholar  and  political  writer,  to  any  that  can  be  picked  out 
of  a  Budget. 

"  Take  it  all  in  all,  the  Literary  Club  has  never  degene- 
rated from  the  high  standard  of  intellectual  gifts  and  personal 
qualities  which  made  those  unpretending  suppers  at  the 
Turk's  Head  an  honour  eagerly  contended  for  by  the  wisest, 
wittiest,  and  noblest  of  the  eighteenth  century." 

Malone,  in  1810,  gave  the  total  number  of  those  who  had 
been  members  of  the  Club  from  its  foundation,  at  seventy- 
six,  of  whom  fifty-five  had  been  authors.  Since  1810,  how- 
ever, literature  has  far  less  preponderance. 

The  designation  of  the  Society  has  been  again  changed  to 
"the  Johnson  Club."  Upon  the  taking  down  of  the 
Thatched  House  Tavern,  the  Club  removed  to  the 
Clarendon  Hotel,  in  Bond-street,  where  was  celebrated  its 
centenary,  in  September,  1864.  There  were  present,  upon 
this  memorable  occasion, — in  the  chair,  tlie  Dean  of  St. 
Paul's  ;  his  Excellency  M.  Van  de  Weyer,  Earls  Clarendon 
and  Stanhope ;  the  Bishops  of  London  and  Oxford ;  Lords 
Brougham,  Stanley,  Cranworth,  Kingsdown,  and  Harry 
Vane ;  the  Right  Hon.  Sir  Edmund  Head,  Spencer 
Walpole,  and  Robert  Lowe;  Sir  Henry  Holland,  Sir  C. 
Eastlake,  Sir  Roderick  Murchison,  Vice-Chancellor  Sir  W. 
Page  Wood,  the  Master  of  Trinity,  Professor  Owen,  Mr.  G. 
Grote,  Mr.  C.  Austen,  Mr.  H.  Reeve,  and  Mr.  G.  Richmond. 
Among  the  few  members  prevented  from  attending  were  the 
Duke  of  Argyll  (in  Scotland),  the  Earl  of  Carhsle  (in 
Ireland),  Earl  Russell,  the  Chancellor  of  the  Exchequer, 
Lord  Overstone  (at  Oxford),  Lord  Glenelg  (abroad),  and 
Mr.  W.  Stirling  (from  indisposition).     Mr.   N.  W.  Senior, 


THE  LITERARY  CLUB.  1S5 

who   was    the    pohtical   economist   of  the  Club,    died   in 
June,  preceding,  in  his  sixty-fourth  year. 

Hallam  and  Macaulay  were  among  the  constant  atten- 
dants at  its  dinners,  which  take  place  twice  a  month  during 
the  Parliamentary  season.  The  custody  of  the  books  and 
archives  of  the  Club  rested  with  the  secretary,  Dr.  Milman, 
the  Venerable  Dean  of  St.  Paul's,  who  took  great  pride  and 
pleasure  in  showing  to  literary  friends  the  valuable  collection 
of  autographs  which  these  books  contain.  Among  the 
memorials  is  the  portrait  of  Sir  Joshua  Reynolds,  with 
spectacles  on,  similar  to  the  picture  in  the  Royal  Collection  : 
this  portrait  was  painted  and  presented  by  Sir  Joshua,  as 
the  founder  of  the  Club. 

Lord  Macaulay  has  grouped,  with  his  accustomed  felicity 
of  language,  this  celebrated  congress  of  men  of  letters. 

"  To  discuss  questions  of  taste,  of  learning,  of  casuistry, 
in  language  so  exact  and  so  forcible  that  it  might  have  been 
printed  without  the  alteration  of  a  word,  was  to  Johnson  no 
exertion,  but  a  pleasure.  He  loved,  as  he  said,  to  fold  his 
legs  and  have  his  talk  out.  He  was  ready  to  bestow  the 
overflowings  of  his  full  mind  on  anybody  who  would  start  a 
subject,  on  a  fellow-passenger  in  a  stage-coach,  or  on  the 
person  who  sat  at  the  same  table  with  him  in  an  eating- 
house.  But  his  conversation  was  nowhere  so  brilliant  and 
striking  as  when  he  was  surrounded  by  a  few  friends,  whose 
abilities  and  knowledge  enabled  them,  as  he  once  expressed 
it,  to  send  him  back  every  ball  that  he  threw.  Some  of 
these,  in  1764,  formed  themselves  into  a  Club,  which 
gradually  became  a  formidable  power  in  the  commonwealth 
of  letters.  The  verdicts  pronounced  by  this  conclave  on 
new  books  were  speedily  known  over  all  London,  and  were 
sufficient  to  sell  off  a  whole  edition  in  a  day,  or  to  condemn 
the  sheets  to  the  service  of  the  trunk-maker  and  the  pastry- 
cook. Nor  shall  we  think  this  strange  when  we  consider 
what  great  and  various  talents  and  acquirements  met  in  the 
little  fraternity.     Goldsmith  was  the  representative  of  poetry 


1 86  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

and  light  literature,  Reynolds  of  the  Arts,  Burke  of  political 
eloquence  and  political  philosophy.  There,  too,  were 
Gibbon,  the  greatest  historian,  and  Jones,  the  greatest 
linguist  of  the  age.  Garrick  brought  to  the  meetings  his 
inexhaustible  pleasantry,  his  incomparable  mimicry,  and  his 
consummate  knowledge  of  stage  effect.  Among  the  most 
constant  attendants  were  two  high-born  and  high-bred 
gentlemen,  closely  bound  together  by  friendship,  but  of 
widely  different  characters  and  habits, — Bennet  Langton, 
distinguished  by  his  skill  in  Greek  literature,  by  the  ortho- 
doxy of  his  opinions,  and  by  the  sanctity  of  his  life ;  and 
Topham  Beauclerk,  renowned  for  his  amours,  his  knowledge 
of  the  gay  world,  his  fastidious  taste,  and  his  sarcastic  wit. 
To  predominate  over  such  a  society  was  not  easy.  Yet 
even  over  such  a  society  Johnson  predominated.  Burke 
might  indeed  have  disputed  the  supremacy  to  which  others 
were  under  the  necessity  of  submitting.  But  Burke,  though 
not  generally  a  very  patient  listener,  was  content  to  take  the 
second  part  when  Johnson  was  present;  and  the  Club 
itself,  consisting  of  so  many  eminent  men,  is  to  this  day 
popularly  designated  as  Johnson's  Club." 

To  the  same  master-hand  we  owe  this  cabinet  picture. 
"  The  [Literary  Club]  room  is  before  us,  and  the  table  on 
which  stand  the  omelet  for  Nugent,  and  the  lemons  for 
Johnson.  There  are  assembled  those  heads  which  live  for 
ever  on  the  canvas  of  Reynolds.  There  are  the  spectacles 
of  Burke,  and  the  tall  thin  form  of  Langton ;  the  courtly 
sneer  of  Beauclerk,  the  beaming  smile  of  Garrick,  Gibbon 
tapping  his  snufif-box,  and  Sir  Joshua  with  his  trumpet  in 
his  ear.  In  the  foreground  is  that  strange  figure  which  is  as 
familiar  to  us  as  the  figures  of  those  among  whom  we  have 
been  brought  up — the  gigantic  body,  the  huge  massy  face, 
seamed  with  the  scars  of  disease ;  the  brown  coat,  the  black 
worsted  stockings,  the  grey  wig  with  the  scorched  foretop  ; 
the  dirty  hands,  the  nails  bitten  and  pared  to  the  quick.  We 
see  the  eyes  and  the  nose  moving  with  convulsive  twitches ; 


GOLDSMITH'S  CLUBS.  187 

we  see  the  heavy  form  rolling ;  we  hear  it  puffing ;  and  then 
comes  the  'Why,  Sir?'  and  the  'What  then,  Sir?'  and  the 
'  No,  Sir ! '  and  the  '  You  don't  see  your  way  through  the 
question,  Sir  ! '" 

Goldsmith's  Clubs. 

However  Goldsmith  might  court  the  learned  circle  of  the 
Literary  Club,  he  was  ill  at  ease  there :  and  he  had  social 
resorts  in  which  he  indemnified  himself  for  this  restraint  by 
indulging  his  humour  without  control.  One  of  these  was  a 
Shilling  Whist  Club,  which  met  at  the  Devil  Tavern.  The 
company  delighted  in  practical  jokes,  of  which  Goldsmith 
was  often  the  butt.  One  night  he  came  to  the  Club  in  a 
hackney-coach,  when  he  gave  the  driver  a  guinea  instead  of 
a  shilling.  He  set  this  down  as  a  dead  loss ;  but  on  the 
next  club-night  he  was  told  that  a  person  at  the  street-door 
wanted  to  speak  to  him ;  he  went  out,  and  to  his  surprise 
and  delight,  the  coachman  had  brought  him  back  the  guinea  ! 
To  reward  such  honesty,  he  collected  a  small  sum  from  the 
Club,  and  largely  increased  it  from  his  own  purse,  and  with 
this  reward  sent  away  the  coachman.  He  was  still  loud  in 
his  praise,  when  one  of  the  Club  asked  to  see  the  returned 
guinea.  To  Goldsmith's  confusion  it  proved  to  be  a 
counterfeit :  the  laughter  which  succeeded  showed  him  that 
the  whole  was  a  hoax,  and  the  pretended  coachman  as  much 
a  counterfeit  as  the  guinea.  He  was  so  disconcerted  that 
he  soon  beat  a  retreat  for  the  evening. 

Another  of  these  small  Clubs  met  on  Wednesday  evening, 
at  the  Globe  Tavern,  in  Fleet-street;  where  songs,  jokes, 
dramatic  imitations,  burlesque  parodies,  and  broad  sallies  of 
humour,  were  the  entertainments.  Here  a  huge  ton  of  a 
man,  named  Gordon,  used  to  delight  Goldsihith  with  singing 
the  jovial  song  of  "  Nottingham  Ale,"  and  looking  like  a 
butt  of  it.  Here,  too,  a  wealthy  pig-butcher  aspired  to  be 
on  the  most  sociable  terms  with  Oliver ;  and  here  was  Tom 
King,  the  comedian,  recently  risen  to  eminence  by  his  per- 


i88  CLLB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

formance  of  Lord  Ogleby,  in  the  new  comedy  of  The  Clan- 
destine Marriage.  A  member  of  note  was  also  one  Hugh 
Kelly,  who  was  a  kind  of  competitor  of  Goldsmith,  but  a 
low  one ;  for  Johnson  used  to  speak  of  him  as  a  man  who 
had  written  more  than  he  had  read.  Another  noted  fre- 
quenter of  the  Globe  and  Devil  taverns  was  one  Glover, 
who,  having  failed  in  the  medical  profession,  took  to  the 
stage;  but  having  succeeded  in  restoring  to  hfe  a  malefactor 
who  had  just  been  executed,  he  abandoned  the  stage,  and 
resumed  his  wig  and  cane,  and  came  to  London  to  dabble 
in  physic  and  literature.  He  used  to  amuse  the  company 
at  the  Club  by  his  story-telling  and  mimicry,  giving  capital 
imitations  of  Garrick,  Foote,  Colman,  Sterne,  and  others. 
It  was  through  Goldsmith  that  Glover  was  admitted  to  the 
Wednesday  Club  ;  he  was,  however,  greatly  shocked  by  the 
free-and-easy  tone  in  which  Goldsmith  was  addressed  by  the 
pig-butcher ;  "  Come,  Noll,"  he  would  say  as  he  pledged 
him,  "  here's  my  service  to  you,  old  boy." 

The  evening's  amusement  at  the  Wednesday  Club  was 
not,  however,  limited;  it  had  the  variety  of  epigram,  and 
here  was  first  heard  the  celebrated  epitaph  (Goldsmith  had 
been  reading  Pope  and  Swift's  Miscellanies^  on  Edward 
Purdon  : — 

Here  lies  poor  Ned  Purdon,  from  misery  freed, 

Who  long  was  a  bookseller's  hack  ; 
He  bad  led  such  a  damnable  life  in  this  world, 

I  don't  think  he'll  wish  to  come  back. 

It  was  in  April  of  the  present  year  that  Purdon  closed  his 
luckless  life  by  suddenly  dropping  down  dead  in  Smithfield ; 
and  as  it  was  chiefly  Goldsmith's  pittance  that  had  saved 
him  thus  long  from  starvation,  it  was  well  that  the  same 
friend  should  give  him  his  solitary  chance  of  escape  from 
oblivion.  "  Doctor  Goldsmith  made  this  epitaph,"  says 
William  Ballantyne,  "  in  his  way  from  his  chambers  in  the 
Temple  to  the  Wednesday  evening  Club  at  the  Globe.  / 
think  he  will  never  come  back,  I  believe  he  said ;  I  was 


THE  DILETTANTI  SOCIETY.  189 

sitting  by  him,  and  he  repeated  it  more  than  once.  /  think 
he  will  never  come  back  !  Ah  !  and  not  altogether  as  a  jest,  it 
may  be,  the  second  and  the  third  time.  There  was  some- 
thing in  Purdon's  fate,  from  their  first  meeting  in  college  to 
that  incident  in  Smithfield,  which  had  no  very  violent  con- 
trast to  his  own  ;  and  remembering  what  Glover  had  said  of 
his  frequent  sudden  descents  from  mirth  to  melancholy, 
some  such  faithful  change  of  temper  would  here  have  been 
natural  enough.  '  His  disappointments  at  these  times,' 
Glover  tells  us,  '  made  him  peevish  and  sullen,  and  he  has 
often  left  his  party  of  convivial  friends  abruptly  in  the  even- 
ing, in  order  to  go  home  and  brood  over  his  misfortunes.' 
But  a  better  medicine  for  his  grief  than  brooding  over  it, 
was  a  sudden  start  into  the  country  to  forget  it ;  and  it  was 
probably  with  a  feeling  of  this  kind  he  had  in  the  summer 
revisited  Islington  ;  he  laboured  during  the  autumn  in  a 
room  of  Canonbury  Tower;  and  often,  in  the  evening, 
presided  at  the  Crown  tavern,  in  Islington  Lower-road, 
where  Goldsmith  and  his  fellow-lodgers  had  formed  a  kind 
of  temporary  club.  At  the  close  of  the  year  he  returned  to 
the  Temple,  and  was  again  pretty  constant  in  his  attendance 
at  Gerard-street."  * 

The  Dilettanti  Society. 

The  origin  of  this  Society,  which  has  now  existed  some 
130  years,  is  due  to  certain  gentlemen,  who  had  travelled 
much  in  Italy,  and  were  desirous  of  encouraging  at  home  a 
taste  for  those  objects  which  had  contributed  so  much  to 
their  intellectual  gratification  abroad.  Accordingly,  In  the 
year  1734,  they  formed  themselves  into  a  Society,  under  the 
name  of  Dilettanti  (literally,  lovers  of  the  Fine  Arts),  and 
agreed  upon  certain  Regulations  to  keep  up  the  spirit  of 


•  See  Forster's  Life  of  Goldsmith,  pp.  422-424. 


igo  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LOyDON. 

their  scheme,  which  combined  friendly  and  social  inter- 
course, with  a  serious  and  ardent  desire  to  promote  the 
Arts.  In  1751,  Mr.  James  Stuart,  "Athenian  Stuart,"  and 
Mr.  Nicholas  Revett,  were  elected  members.  The  Society 
liberally  assisted  them  in  their  excellent  work,  "  The  Anti- 
quities of  Athens.''  In ,  fact  it  was,  in  great  measure,  owing 
to  this  Society  that  after  the  death  of  the  above  two  eminent 
architects,  the  work  was  not  entirely  relinquished;  and  a 
large  number  of  the  plates  were  engraved  from  drawings  in 
the  possession  of  the  Dilettanti.  Walpole,  speaking  in  1743, 
of  the  Society,  in  connexion  with  an  opera  subscription, 
says,  "  The  nominal  qualification  [to  be  a  member]  is  having 
been  in  Italy,  and  the  real  one,  being  drunk ;  the  two  chiefs 
are  Lord  Middlesex  and  Sir  Francis  Dashwood,  who  were 
seldom  sober  the  whole  time  they  were  in  Italy."  We  need 
scarcely  add,  that  the  qualifications  for  election  are  no  longer 
what  Walpole  described  them  to  have  been. 

In  1764,  the  Society,  being  possessed  of  a  considerable 
sum  above  what  their  services  required,  various  schemes 
were  proposed  for  applying  part  of  this,  money  ;  and  it  was 
at  length  resolved  "  that  a  person  or  persons  properly  quali- 
fied, should  be  sent,  with  sufficient  appointments,  to  certain 
parts  of  the  East,  to  collect  information  relative  to  the 
former  state  of  those  countries,  and  particularly  to  procure 
exact  descriptions  of  the  ruins  of  such  monuments  of 
antiquity  as  are  yet  to  be  seen  in  those  parts." 

Three  persons  were  elected  for  this  undertaking,  Mr. 
Chandler,  of  Magdalen  College,  Oxford,  editor  of  the  Mar- 
tnofa  Oxoniensia,  was  appointed  to  execute  the  classical  part 
of  the  plan.  Architecture  was  assigned  to  Mr.  Revett ;  and 
the  choice  of  a  proper  person  for  taking  views  and  copying 
the  bas-rdiefs,  fell  upon  Mr.  Pars,  a  young  painter  of 
promise.  Each  person  was  strictly  enjoined  to  keep  a 
regular  journal,  and  hold  a  constant  correspondence  with 
the  Society. 

The  party  embarked  on  June  9,  1764,  in  the  AngJicana, 


THE  DILETTANTI  SOCIETY.  191 

bound  for  Constantinople,  and  were  just  at  the  Dardanelles 
on  the  zsth  of  August.  Having  visited  the  Sigasan  Pro- 
montory, the  ruins  of  Troas,  with  the  islands  of  Tenedos 
and  Scio,  tliey  arrived  at  Smyrna  on  the  nth  of  Septem- 
ber. From  that  city,  as  their  head-quarters,  they  made 
several  excursions.  On  the  20th  of  August,  1765,  they  sailed 
from  Smyrna,  and  arrived  at  Athens  on  the  30th  of  the  same 
month,  having  touched  at  Suniura  and  ^gina  on  their  way. 
They  stayed  at  Athens  till  June  11,  1766,  visiting  Marathon, 
Eleusis,  Salomis,  Megaia,  and  other  places  in  the  neighbour- 
hood. Leaving  Athens,  they  proceeded  by  the  little  island 
of  Calauria  to  Trezene,  Epidaurus,  Argos,  and  Corinth. 
From  this  they  visited  Delphi,  PatrSj  Ehs,  and  Zante, 
whence  they  sailed  on  the  31st  of  August,  and  arrived  in 
England  on  the  2nd  of  November  following,  bringing  with 
them  an  immense  number  of  drawings,  etc.,  the  result  of 
which  was  the  publication,  at  the  expense  of  the  Society,  of 
two  magnificent  volumes  of  "  Ionian  Antiquities."  The 
results  of  the  expedition  were  also  the  two  popular  works, 
"  Chandler's  Travels  in  Asia  Minor,"  1775  ;  and  his  "  Travels 
in  Greece,"  in  the  following  year ;  also,  the  volume  of 
"  Greek  Inscriptions,"  1774,  containing  the  Sigaean  inscrip- 
tion, the  marble  of  which  bas  been  since  brought  to  England 
by  Lord  Elgin ;  and  the  celebrated  documents  containing 
the  reconstruction  of  the  Temple  of  Minerva  Polias,  which 
Professor  Wilkins  illustrated  in  his  "Prolusiones  Archi- 
tectonicse,  1837." 

Walpole,  in  1791,  has  this  odd  passage  upon  the  Ionian 
Antiquities:  "They  who  are  industrious  and  correct,  and 
wish  to  forget  nothing,  should  go  to  Greece,  where  there  is 
nothing  left  to  be  seen,  but  that  ugly  pigeon-house,  the 
Temple  of  the  Winds,  that  fly-cage,  Demosthenes's  Lantern, 
and  one  or  two  fragments  of  a  portico,  or  a  piece  of  a 
column  crushed  into  a  mud  wall  ;  and  with  such  a  morsel, 
and  many  quotations,  a  lirue  classic  antiquary  can  compose  a 
whole  folio,  and  call  it  "  Ionian  Antiquities." 


192  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

But,  it  may  be  asked,  how  came  the  Society  to  associate 
so  freely  pleasure  with  graver  pursuits  ?  To  this  it  may  be 
replied,  that  when  the  Dilettanti  first  met  they  avowed 
friendly  and  social  intercourse  the  first  object  they  had  in 
view,  although  they  soon  showed  that  they  would  combine 
with  it  a  serious  plan  for  the  promotion  of  the  Arts  in  this 
country.  For  these  persons  were  not  scholars,  nor  even  men 
of  letters  ;  they  were  some  of  the  wealthiest  noblemen  and 
most  fashionable  men  of  the  day,  who  would  naturally  sup 
■\vith  the  Regent  as  he  went  through  Paris,  and  find  them, 
selves  quite  at  home  in  the  Carnival  of  Venice.  These,  too, 
were  times  of  what  would  now  be  considered  very  licentious 
merriment  and  very  unscrupulous  fun, — times  when  men  of 
independent  means  and  high  rank  addicted  themselves  to 
pleasure,  and  gave  vent  to  their  full  animal  spirits  with  a 
frankness  that  would  now  be  deemed  not  only  vulgar  but 
indecorous,  while  they  evinced  an  earnestness  about  objects 
now  thought  frivolous  which  it  is  very  easy  to  represent  as 
absurd.  In  assuming,  however,  the  name  of  "Dilettanti" 
they  evidently  attached  to  it  no  light  and  superficial  notion. 
The  use  of  that  word  as  one  of  disparagement  or  ridicule  is 
quite  recent.  The  same  may  be  said  of  "  Virtli,"  which,  in 
the  artistic  sense,  does  not  seem  to  be  strictly  academical, 
but  that  of  "  Virtuoso  "  is  so,  undoubtedly,  and  it  means  the 
"  capable  "  man, — the  man  who  has  a  right  to  judge  on 
matters  requiring  a  particular  faculty :  Dryden  says : 
"Virtuoso  the  Italians  call  a  man  '  who  loves  the  noble  arts^ 
and  is  a  critic  in  them,'  or,  as  old  Glanville  says,  '  who  dwells 
in  a  higher  region  than  other  mortals.' 

"  Thus,  when  the  Dilettanti  mention  '  the  cause  of  virtue 
as  a  high  object  which  they  will  never  abandon,  they  express 
their  belief  that  the  union  into  which  they  had  entered  had 
a  more  important  purpose  than  any  personal  satisfaction 
could  give  it,  and  that  they  did  engage  themselves  thereby 
in  some  degree  to  promote  the  advantage  of  their  country 
and  of  mankind. 


THE  DILETTANTI  SOCIETY.  193 

"Of  all  the  merry  meetings  these  gay  gentlemen  had 
together,  small  records  remain.  We,  looking  back  out  of  a 
graver  time,  can  only  judge  from  the  uninterrupted  course 
of  their  festive  gatherings,  from  the  names  of  the  statesmen, 
the  wits,  the  scholars,  the  artists,  the  amateurs,  that  fill  the 
catalogue,  from  the  strange  mixture  of  dignities  and 
accessions  to  wealth  for  which,  by  the  rules  of  the  Society, 
fines  were  paid, — and  above  all,  by  the  pictures  which  they 
possess^ — how  much  of  the  pleasantry  and  the  hearty  enjoy- 
ment must  have  been  mixed  up  with  the  more  solid  pursuits 
of  the  Members.  Cast  your  eye  over  the  list  of  those  who 
met  togetherat  the  table  of  the  Dilettanti  any  time  between 
1770  and  1790."*  Here  occur  the  names  of  Sir  Joshua 
Reynolds,  Earl  Fitzwilliam,  Charles  James  Fox,  Hon. 
Stephen  Fox  (Lord  Holland),  Hon.  Mr.  Fitzpatrick,  Charles 
Howard  (Duke  of  Norfolk),  Lord  Robert  Spencer,  George 
Selw)m,  Colonel  Fitzgerald,  Hon.  H.  Conway,  Joseph 
Banks,  Duke  of  Dorset,  Sir  William  Hamilton,  David 
Garrick,  George  Colman,  Joseph  Windham,  R.  Payne 
Knight,  Sir  George  Beaumont,  Towneley,  and  others  of  less 
posthumous  fame,  but  probably  of  not  less  agreeable  com- 
panionship. 

The  funds  must  have  largely  benefited  by  the  payment  of 
fines,  some  of  which  were  very  strange.  Those  paid  "  on 
increase  of  income,  by  inheritance,  legacy,  marriage,  or  pre 
ferment,"  are  very  odd ;  as,  five  guineas  by  Lord  Grosvenor 
on  his  marriage  with  Miss  Leveson  Gower ;  eleven  guineas' 
by  the  Duke  of  Bedford,  on  being  appointed  First  Lord 
of  the  Admiralty ;  ten  guineas  compounded  for  by  Bubb 
Dodington,  as  Treasurer  of  the  Navy ;  two  guineas  by  the 
Duke  of  Kingston  for  a  Colonelcy  of  Horse  (then  valued  at 
400/.  per  annum) ;  twenty-one  pounds  by  Lord  Sandwich  on 
going  out  as  Ambassador  to  the  Congress  at  Aix-la-Chapelle  > 
and  twopence  three-farthings  by   the   same  nobleman,   on 


*  Edinburgh  Review,  No.  214,  p.  ^00. 
O 


194  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

becoming  Recorder  of  Huntingdon ;  thirteen  shillings  and 
fourpence  by  the  Duke  of  Bedford,  on  getting  the  Garter ; 
and  sixteen  shillings  and  eightpence  (Scotch)  by  the  Duke 
of  Buccleuch,  on  getting  the  Thistle ;  twenty-one  pounds  by ; 
the  Earl  of  Holdemesse,  as  Secretary  of  State ;  and  nine 
pounds,  nineteen  shillings  and  sixpence,  by  Charles  James 
Fox,  as  a  Lord  of  the  Admiralty. 

In  1814,  another  expedition  was  undertaken  by  the 
Society,  when  Sir  William  Gell,  with  Messrs.  Gandy  and 
Bedford,  professional  architects,  proceeded  to  the  Levant. 
Smyrna  was  again  appointed  the  head-quarters  of  the 
mission,  and  fifty  pounds  per  month  was  assigned  to  Gell, 
and  two  hundred  pounds  per  annum  to  each  of  the 
architects.  An  additional  outlay  was  required ;  and  by  this 
means  the  classical  and  antique  literature  of  England  was 
enriched  with  the  fullest  and  most  accurate  descriptions  of 
important  remains  of  ancient  art  hitherto  given  to  the  world. 

The  contributions  of  the  Society  to  the  sesthetic  studies 
of  the  time  also  deserve  notice.  The  excellent  design  to 
publish  "  Select  Specimens  of  Antient  Sculpture  preserved 
in  the  several  Collections  of  Great  Britain  "  was  carried  into 
effect  by  Messrs.  Payne  Knight  and  Mr.  Towneley,  2  vols, 
folio,  1809 — 1835.  Then  followed  Mr.  Penrose's  "Investi- 
gations into  the  Principles  of  Athenian  Architecture,"  printed 
in  1851. 

About  the  year  1820,  those  admirable  monuments  of 
Grecian  art,  called  the  Bronzes  of  Siris,  were  discovered  on 
the  banks  of  that  river,  and  were  brought  to  this  country  by 
the  Chevalier  Brondsted.  The  Dilettanti  Society  immediately 
organized  a  subscription  of  800/.,  and  the  Trustees  of  the' 
British  Museum  completed  the  purchase  by  the  additional 
sum  of  200/. 

It  was  mainly  through  the  influence  and  patronage  of  the 
Dilettanti  Society  that  the  Royal  Academy  obtained  a 
Charter.  In  1774,  the  interest  of  4000/.  three  per  cents, 
■vas  appropriated  by  the  former  for  the  purpose  of  sending 


THE  DILETTANTI  SOCIETY.  195 

two  Students,  recommended  by  the  Royal  Academy,   to 
study  in  Italy  or  Greece  for  three  years. 

In  1835  appeared  a  Second  Volume  on  Ancient  Scvilpture. 
The  Society  at  this  time  included,  among  a  list  of  sixty-four 
names  of  the  noble  and  learned,  those  of  Sir  William  Gell, 
Mr.  Towneley,  Richard  Westmacott,  Henry  Hallam,  the 
Duke  of  Bedford,  Sir  M.  A.  Shee,  P.R.A.,  Henry  T.  Hope; 
and  Lord  Prudhoe,  afterwards  Duke  of  Northumberland. 

That  a  Society  possessing  so  much  wealth  and  social 
importance  as  the  Dilettanti  should  not  have  built  for  them- 
selves a  man&ion  is  surprising.  In  1747  they  obtained  a 
plot  of  ground  in  Cavendish  Square,  for  this  purpose  j  but 
in  1760,  they  disposed  of  the  property.  Between  1761  and 
1764  the  project  of  an  edifice  in  Piccadilly,  on  the  model  of 
the  Temple  of  Pola,  was  agitated  by  the  Committee ;  two 
sites  were  proposed,  one  between  Devonshire  and  Bath 
Houses,  the  other  on  the  west  side  of  Cambridge  House. 
This  scheme  was  also  abandoned. 

Meanwhile  the  Society  were  accustomed  to  meet  at  the 
Thatched  House  Tavern,  the  large  room  of  which  was 
hung  with  portraits  of  the  Dilettanti.  Sir  Joshua  Reynolds, 
who  was  a  member,  painted  for  the  Society  three  capital 
pictures : — i.  A  group  in  the  manner  of  Paul  Veronese, 
containing  the  portraits  of  the  Duke  of  Leeds,,  Lord  Dundas, 
Constantine  Lord  Mulgrave,  Lord  Seaforth,  the  Hon. 
Charles  Greville,  Charles  Crowle,  Esq.,  and  Sir  Joseph 
Banks.  2.  A  group  in  the  manner  of  the  same  master, 
containing  portraits  of  Sir  William  Hamilton,  Sir  Watkin  W. 
Wynne,  Richard  Thomson,  Esq.,  Sir  John  Taylor,  Payne 
Galway,  Esq.,  John  Smythe,  Esq.,  and  Spencer  S.  Stanhope, 
Esq.  3.  Head  of  Sir  Joshua,  dressed  in  a  loose  robe,  and 
in  his  own  hair.  The  earlier  portraits  are  by  Hudson, 
Reynolds's  master. 

Some  of  these  portraits  are  in  the  costume  familiar  to  us 
through  Hogarth;  others  are  in  Turkish  or  Roman  dresses. 
There  is  a  mixture  of  the  convivial  in  all  these  pictures 

o  2 


ige  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

many  are  using  wine-glasses  of  no  small  size :  Lord  Sand- 
wich, for  instance,  in  a  Turkish  costume,-  casts  a  most  un- 
orthodox glance  upon  a  brimming  goblet  in  his  left  hand, 
while  his  right  holds  a  flask  of  great  capacity.  Sir  Bouchier 
Wray  is  seated  in  the  cabin  of  a  ship,  mixing  punch,  and 
eagerly  embracing  the  bowl,  of  which  a  lurch  of  the  sea  would 
seem  about  to  deprive  him  :  the  inscription  is  Duke  est 
desipere  in  loco.  ■  Here  is  a  curious  old  portrait  of  the  Earl  of 
Holdemesse,  in  a  red  cap,  as  a  gondolier,  ^with  the  Rialto 
and  Venice  in  the  background  :  there  is  Charles  Sackville, 
Duke  of  Dorset,  as  a  Roman  senator,  dated  1738;  Lord 
Galloway,  in  the  dress  of  a  cardinal ;  and  a  very  singular 
likeness  of  one  of  the  earliest  of  the  Dilettanti,  Lord  Le 
Despencer,  as  a  monk  at  his  devotions  :  his  Lordship  is 
clasping  a  brimming  goblet  for  his  rosary,  and  his  eyes  are 
not  very  piously  fixed  on  a  statue  of  the  Venus  de'  Medici. 
It  must  be  conceded  that  some  of  these  pictures  remind  one 
of  the  Medmenham  orgies,  with  which  some  of  the  Dilettanti 
were  not  unfamiliar.  The  ceiling  of  the  large  room  was 
painted  to  represent  sky,  and  crossed  by  gold  cords  in- 
terlacing each  other,  and  from  their  knots  were  hung  three 
large  glass  chandeliers. 

The  Thatched  House  has  disappeared,  but  the  pictures 
have  been  well  cared  for.  The  Dilettanti  have  removed  to 
another  tavern,  and  dine  together  on  the  first  Sunday  in 
every  month  from  February  to  July.  The  late  Lord  Aber- 
deen, the  Marquises  of  Northampton  and  Lansdowne,  and 
Colonel  Leake,  and  Mr.  Broderip,  were  members;  as  was 
also  the  late  Lord  Northwick,  whose  large  collection  of 
pictures  at  Thirlestane,  Cheltenham,  was  dispersed  by  sale 
in  1859. 

The  Royal  Naval  Club. 

About  the  year  1674,  according  to  a  document  in  the 
possession  of  Mr.  Fitch  of  Norwich,  a  Naval  Club  was 
started  "  for  the  improvement  of  a  mutuall  Society,  and  an 


THE  ROYAL  NAVAL  CLUB.  197 

encrease  of  Love  and  Kindness  amongst  them ;"  and  that 
consummate  seaman,  Admiral  Sir  John  Kempthorrie,  was 
declared  Steward  of  the  institution.  This  was  the  precursor 
of  the  Royal  Naval  Club  of  1765,  which,  whether  considered 
for  its  amenities  or  its  extensive  charities,  may  be  justly 
cited  as  a  model  establishment  (Admiral  Smyth's  "Rise  and 
Progress  of  the  Royal  Society  Club,  p.  9.)  The  members  of 
this  Club  annually  distribute  a  considerable  sura  among  the 
distressed  widows  and  orphans  of  those  who  have  spent  their 
days  in  the  naval  service  of  their  country.  The  Cliib  was 
accustommed  to  dine  together  at  the  Thatched  House 
Tavern,  on  the  anniversary  of  the  battle  of  the  Nile. 

"  Founded  on  the  model  of  the  old  tavern  or  convivial 
Clubs,  but  confined  exclusively  to  members  of  the  Naval 
Service,  the  Royal  Naval  Club  numbered  among  its  mem- 
bers men  from  the  days  of  Boscawen,  Rodney,  arid  'tiie 
first  of  June'  downwards.  It  was  a  favourite  retreat  for  Wil- 
liam IV.  when  Duke  of  Clarence ;  and  his  comrade  Sir  Philip 
Durham,  the  survivor  of  Nelson,  and  almost  the  last  of  the 
'old  school,'  frequented  it.  Sir  Philip,  however,  was  by  no 
means  one  of  the  Trunnion  class.  Coarseness  and  profane 
language,  on  the  contrary,  he  especially  avoided;  but  in 
'spinning  a  yam'  there  has  been  none  like  him  :since  the 
days  of  Smollett.  The  loss  of  the  Royal  George,  from  which 
he  was  one  of  the  few,  if,  indeed,  not  the  only  officer,  who 
escaped,  was  a  favourite  theme  ;  and  the  Admiral,  not  con- 
tent with  having' made  his  escape,  was  wont  to  maintain  that 
he  swam  ashore  with  his  midshipman's  dirk  in  his  teeth. 
Yet  Sir  Philip  would  allow  no  one  to  trench  on  his  manor. 
One  day  when  a  celebrated  naval  captain,  with  the  view  of 
quizzing  him,  was  relating  the  loss  of  a  merchantman  on  the 
coast  of  South  America,  laden  with  Spitalfields  products, 
and  asserting  that  silk  was  so  plentiful,  and  the  cargo  so 
scattered,  that  the  porpoises  were  for  some  hours  enmeshed 
in  its  folds:  'Ay,  ay,'  replied  Sir  Philip,  'I  believe  you;  for 
I  was  once  cruising  on  that  coast  myself,  in  search  of  a  pri- 


igS  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

vateer,  and  having. lost  our  fore-topsail  one  morning  in  a  gale 
of  wind,  we  next  day  found  it  tied  round  a  whale's  neck  by 
way  of  a  cravat.'  Sir  Philip  was  considered  to  have  the  best 
of  itj  and  the  novehst  was  mute."* 

The  Wyndham  Club. 

This  Glub,  which  partakes  of  the  character  of  Arthur's  and 
Boodle's,  was  founded  by  Lord  Nugent,  its  objects  being,  as 
stated  in  Rule  i,  "to  secure  a  convenient  and  agreeable  place 
of  meeting  for  a  society  of  gentlemen,  all  connected  with  each 
other  by  a  common  bond  of  literary  or  personal  acquaintance.!' 

The  Club,  No.  ii,  St.  James's-square,  is  named  from  the 
mansion  having  been  the  residence  of  William  Wyndham, 
who  has  been  described,  and  the  description  has  been  gene- 
rally adopted  as  appropriate,  as  a  model  of  the  true  English 
gentleman;  and  the  fitness  of  the  Club  designation  is 
equally  characteristic.  He  was  an  accomplished  scholar  and 
mathematician.  Dr.  Johnson  writing  of  a  visit  which  W5Tid- 
ham  paid  him,  says  :  "Such  conversation  I  shall  not  have 
again  till  I  come  back  to  the  regions  of  Hterature,  and  there 
Wyndham  is  'inter  Stellas  luna  minores.' " 

In  the  mansion  also  lived  the  accomplished  John  Duke  of 
Roxburghe;  and  here  the  Rdxburghe  Library  was  sold  in 
1812,  the  sale  extending  to  forty-one  days.  Lord  Chief 
Justice  EUenborough  lived  here  in  1814;  and  subsequently, 
the  Earl  of  Blessington,  who  possessed  a  fine  collection  of 
pictures. 

The  Travellers'  Club. 

,  This  famous  Club  was  originated  shortly  after  the  Peace 
of  1814,  by  the  Marquis  of  Londonderry  (then  Lord  Castle- 
reagh),  with  a  view  to  a  resort  for,  gentlemen  who  had  re- 
sided or  travelled  abroad,  as  well  as  with  a  view  to  the 


"London  Clubs,"  1853. 


THE  TRAVELLERS  CLUB.  199 

-accommodation  ■  of  foreigners,  wlio,  when  properly' recom- 
mended, receive  an  invitation  for  the  period  of  their  stay. 
One  of  the  Rules  directs  "  That  no  person' be  considered 
eligible  to  the  Travellers'  Club  who  shall  not  have  travelled 
out  of  the  British  Islands  to  a  distance  of  atleast  500  miles 
from  London  in  a  direct  line."  Another  Rule  directs  "That 
no  dice  and  no  game  of  hazard  be  allowed  in  the  rooms  of 
the  Club,  nor  any  higher  stake  than  guinea  points,  and  that 
no  cards  be  introduced  before  dinner." 

Prince  Talleyrand,  during  his  residence  in  Londoti, 
generally  joined  the  muster  of  whist-players  at  the  Travellers'; 
probably,  here  was  the  scene  of  this  felicitous  rejoinder. 
The  Prince  was  enjoying  his  rubber,  when  the  conversation 
turned  on  thcTCcent  union  of  an  elderly  lady  of  respectable 

rank.     "  How  ever  could  Madame  de  S make  such  a 

match  ? — a  person  of  her  birth  to  marry  a  valet-de-chambreP' 
"Ah,"  replied  Talleyrand,  "it  was  late  in  the  game:  at  nine 
we  don't  reckon  honoiirs." 

The  present  Travellers'  Club-house,  which  adjoins  the 
Athenaeum  in  Pall  Mall,  was  designed  by  Barry,  R.A.,  and 
built  in  1832.  It  is  one  of  the  architect's  most  admired 
works.  Yet,  we  have  seen  it  thus  treated,  with  more  smart- 
ness than  judgment,  by  a  critic  who  is  annoyed  at  its  disad. 
vantageous  comparison  with  its  more  gigantic  neighbours  : — 

"  The  Travellers'  is  worse,  and  looks  very  like  a  sandwich 
at  the  Swindon  station — a  small  stumpy  piece  of  beef  be- 
tween two  huge  pieces  of  bread,  i.e.  the  Athenaeum  and  the 
Reform  Clubs,  which  look  as  if  they  were  urging  their 
migratory  neighbour  to  resume  the  peregrinations  for  which 
its  members  are  remarkable.  Yet  people  have  their  names 
down  ten  years  at  the  Travellers'  previous  to  their  coming 
up  for  ballot.  An  election  reasonably  extended  would  supply 
funds  for  a  more  advantageous  and  extended  position." 

The  architecture  is  the  nobler  Italian,  resembling  a 
Roman  palace  :  the  plan  is  a  quadrangle,  with  an  open  area 
in  the  middle,  so  that  all  the  rooms  are  well  lighted.  .  The 


200  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONI>ON. 

Pall  Mall  front  has  a  bold  and  rich  cornice,  and .  the 
windows  are  decorated  with  Corinthian  pilasters  :  the  garden 
front  varies  in  the  windows,  but  the  Italian  taste  is  preserved 
throughout,  with  the  most  careful  finish  :  the  roof  is  Italian 
tiles.  To  be  more  minute,  the  consent  of  all  competent 
judges  has  assigned  a  very  high  rank  to  this  building  as  a 
piece  of  architectural  design;  for  if,  in  point  of  mere  quantity, 
it  fall  greatly  short  of  many  contemporary  structures,  it  sur- 
passes nearly  every  one  of  them  in  quality,  and  in  the  artist- 
like treatment.  In  fact,  it  marks  an  epoch  in  our  metro- 
politan architecture ;  for  before,  we  had  hardly  a  specimen 
of  that  nobler  Italian  style  which,  instead  of  the  flutter  and 
flippery,  and  the  littleness  of  manner,  which  pervade  most 
of  ihe  productions  of  the  Palladian  school,  is  characterized 
by  breadth  and  that  refined  simplicity  arising  from  unity  of 
idea  and  execution,  and  from  every  part  being  consistently 
worked  up,  yet  kept  subservient  to  one  predominating  effect. 
Unfortunately,  the  south  front,  which  is  by  far  the  more 
striking  and  graceful  composition,  is  comparatively  little  seen, 
being  that  facing  Carlton  Gardens,  and  not  to  be  approached 
so  as  to  be  studied  as  it  deserves ;  but  when  examined,  it 
certainly  must  be  allowed  to  merit  all  the  admiration  it  has 
obtained.  Though  perfect,  quiet,  and  sober  in  effect,  and 
unostentatious  in  character,  this  building  of  Barry's  is  re- 
markable for  the  careful  finish  bestowed  on  every  part  of  it. 
It  is  this  quality,  together  with  the  taste  displayed  in  the 
design  generally,  that  renders  it  an  architectural  bijou. 
Alinost  any  one  must  be  sensible  of  this,  if  he  will  but  be  at 
the  pains  to  compare  it  with  the  United  Service  Club,  eastward 
of  which,  as  far  as  mere  quantity  goes,  there  is  much  more. 
Another  critic  remarks  :  "  The  Travellers'  fairly  marks  an 
epoch  in  the  architectural  history  of  Club-houses,  as  being 
almost  the  first,  if  not  the  very  first,  attempt,  to  introduce 
into  this  country  that  species  of  rich  astylar  composition 
which  has  obtained  the  name  of  the  Italian  palazzo  mode, 
by  way  of  contradistinction  from  Palladianism  and  its  orders. 


THE  UNITED  SERVICE  CLUB.  201 

This  production  of  Barry's  has  given  a. fresh  impulse  to 
architectural  design,  and  one  in  a  more  artistic  direction  ; 
and  the  style  adopted  by  the  architect  has  been,  applied  to 
various  other  buildings  in  the  provinces  as  well  as  in  the 
metropolis ;  and  its  influence  has  manifested '  itself  in  the 
taste  of  our  recent  street  architecture." 

The  Travellers' narrowly  escaped  destructionon  October  2  4: 
1850,  when  a  fire  did  great  damage  to  the  biUiard-roomsj 
which  were,  by  the  way,  an  afterthought,  and  addition  to 
the  original  building,  but  by  no  means  an  improvement  upon 
the  first  design,  for  they:  greatly  impaired  the  beauty  of  the 
garden-front. 

The  United  Service  Club, 

One  of  the  oldest  of  the  modern  Clubs,  was  instituted  the 
year  after  the  Peace  of  1815,  when  a  few  officers  of  influence 
in  both  branches  of  the  Service  had  built  for  them,  by  Sir 
R.  Smirke,  a  Club-house  at  the  comer  of  Charles-street  and 
Regent-street, — a  frigid  design,  somewhat  relieved  by  sculp- 
ture on  the  entrance-front,  of  Britannia  distributing  laurels 
to  her  brave  sons  by  land  and  sea.  Thence  the  Club  re- 
moved to  a  more  spacious  house,  in  Waterloo-place,  facing 
the  Athenjeumj  the  Club-house  in  Charles-street  being 
entered  on  by  the  Junior  United  Service  Club  ;  but  Smirke's 
cold  design  has  been  displaced  by  an  edifice  of  much  more 
ornate  exterior  and  luxurious  internal  appliances. 

The  United  Service  Club  (Senior)  was  designed  by  Nash, 
and  has  a  well-planned  interior,  exhibiting  the  architect's 
well-known  excellence  in  this  branch  of  his  profession. 
The  principal  front  facing  Pall  Mall  has  a  Roman-Doric 
portico  ;  and  above  it  a  Corinthian  portico,  with  pediment. 
One  of  the  patriarchal  members  of  the  Club  was  Lord  Lyne- 
doch,  the  hero  of  the  Peninsular  War,  who  lived  under  five 
sovereigns  :  he  died  in  his  93rd  year,  leaving  behind  him  a 
name  to  be  held  in  honoured  reinembrance,  while  loyalty  is 
considered  to  be  a  real  virtue,  or  military  renown  a  passport 


202  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

to  fame.  It  is  a  curious  fact  that  the  Duke  of  Wellington 
fought  his  last  battle  at  an  earlier  period  of  life  than  that  in 
which  Lord  Lynedoch  "fleshed  his  maiden  sword;"  and 
though  we  were  accustomed  to  regard  the  Duke  himself  as 
preserving  his  vigour  to  a  surprisingly  advanced  age,  Lord 
L)Tiedoch  was  at  his  death  old  enough  to  have  been  the 
father  of  his  Grace.  The  United  Service  was  the  favourite 
Glub  of  the  Duke,  who  might  often  be  seen  dining  here  on 
a  joint  J  and  on  one  occasion,  when  he  was  charged  \s.  %d. 
instead  of  u.  for  it,  he  bestirred  himself  till  the  threepence 
was  struck  off.  The  motive  was  obvious :  he  took  the  trouble 
of  objecting,  so  that  he  might  sanction  the  principle. 

Among  the  Club  pictures  is  Jones's  large  painting  of  the 
Battle  of  Waterloo  j  and  the  portrait  of  the  Duke  of 
Wellington,  painted  for  the  Club  by  W.  Robinson.  .  Here 
also  are  Stanfield's  fine  picture  of  the  Battle  of  Trafalgar ; 
and  a  copy,  by  Lane,  painted  in  1851,  of  a  contemporaiy 
portrait  of  Sir  Francis  Drake,  our  "  Elizabethan  Sea-King." 
The  Club-house  has  of  late  years  been  considerably  en- 
larged. 

The  Alfred  Club. 

In  the  comparatively  quiet  Albemarle-street  was  instituted, 
in  1808,  the  Alfred  Club,  which  has,  ab  initio,  been  remark- 
able for  the  number  of  travellers  and  men  of  letters,  who 
form  a  considerable  proportion  of  its  members.  Science  is 
handsomely  housed  at  the  Royal  Institution,  on  the  east  side 
of  the  street ;  and  literature  nobly  represented  by  the  large 
publishing-house  of  Mr.  Murray,  on  the  west ;  both  circum- 
stances tributary  to  the  otitmi  enjoyed  in  a  Club.  Yet, 
strangely  enough,  its  position  has  been  a  frequent  Source  of 
banter  to  the  Alfred.  First  it  was  known  by  its  cockney- 
appellation  of  Half-read.  Lord  Byron  was  a  member,  and 
he  tells  us  that  "  it  was  pleasant,  a  little  too  sober  and 
literary,  and  bored  with  Sotheby  and  Francis  DTvernois; 
but  one  met  Rich,  and  Ward,  and  Valentia,  and  many  Other 


THE  ALFRED  CLUB.  203 

pleasant  or  known  people;  and  it  was,,  in  the  whole,  a 
decent  resource  in  a  rainy  day,  in  a  dearth  of  parties,  or 
Parliament,  or  in  an  empty  season." 

Lord  Dudley,  writing  to  the  Bishop  of  LlandafT,  says  :  "  I 
am  glad  you  mean  to  come  into  the  Alfred  this  time.  We 
are  the  most  abused,  and  most  envied,  and  most  canvassed 
Society  that  I  know  of,  and  we  deserve  neither  the  one  nor 
the  other  distinction.  The  Club  is  not  so  good  a  resource 
as  many  respectable  persons  would  believe,  nor  are  we  by 
any  means  such  quizzes  or  such  bores  as  the  wags  pretend. 
A  duller  place  than  the  Alfred  there  does  not  exist.  I 
should  not  choose  to  be  quoted  for  saying  so,  but  the  bores 
prevail  there  to  the  exclusion  of  every  other  interest.  You 
hear  nothing  but  idle  reports  and  twaddling  opinions.  They 
read  the  Morning  Post  and  the  British  Critic.  It  is  the 
asylum  of  doting  Tories  and  drivelling  quidnuncs.  But 
they  are  civil  and  quiet.  You  belong  to  a  much  better  Club 
already.     The  eagerness  to  get  into  it  is  prodigious.'' 

Then,  we  have  the  Quarterly  Review,  with  confirmation 
strong  of  the  two  Lords  : — "  The  Alfred  received  its  coup- 
de-gr&ce  from  a  well-known  story,  (rather  an  indication  than 
a  cause  of  its  decline,)  to  the  effect  that  Mr.  Canning,  whilst 
in  the  zenith  of  his  fame,  dropped  in  accidentally  at  a  house 
dinner  of  twelve  or  fourteen,  stayed  out  the  evening,  and 
made  himself  remarkably  agreeable,  without  any  one  of  the 
party  suspecting  who  he  was." 

The  dignified  clergy,  who,  with  the  higher  class  of  lawyers,, 
have  long  ago  emigrated  to  the  Athenaeum  and  University 
Clubs,  formerly  mustered  in  such  great  force  at  the  Alfred,, 
that  Lord  Alvanley^  on  being  asked  in  the  bow  window  at 
White's,  whether  he  was  still  a  member,  somewhat  irre- 
verently repHed :  "  Not  exactly :  I  stood  it  as  long  as  I 
could,  but  when  the  seventeenth  bishop  was  proposed  I 
gave  in.  I  really  could  not  enter  the  place  without  being 
put  in  mind  of  my  catechism."  "  Sober-minded  people," 
says  the  Quarterly  Review,   "may  be   apt   to   think    this 


204  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

fonned  the  best  possible  reason  for  his.  lordship's  remaining 
where  he  was.  It  is  hardly  necessary  to  say  that  the  pre- 
sence of  the  bishops  and  judges  is  universally  regarded  as  an 
unerring  test  of  the  high  character  of  a  Club."        ■     ■ 

The  Oriental  Club. 

Several  years  ago,  the  high  dignitaries  of  the  Church  and 
Law  kept  the  Alfred  to  themselves  ;  but  this  would  not  do : 
then  they  admitted  a  large  number  of  very  respectable  good 
young  men,  who  were  unexceptionable,  but  not  very 
amusing.  This,  again,  would  not  do.  So,  now  the  Alfred 
joined,  1855,  the  Oriental,  in  Hanover-square.  And 
curiously  enough,  thQ  latter  Club  has  been  quizzed  equally 
with  the  Alfred.  In  the  merry  days  of  the  New  Monthly 
Magazine  of  some  thirty  years  since,  we  read : — "  The 
Oriental — or,  as  the  hackney-coachmen  call  it,  the  Hori- 
zontal Club— in  Hanover-square,  outdoes  even  Arthur's  for 
quietude.  Placed  at  the.  comer  of  a  cul-de-sac — at  least  as 
far  as  carriages  are  concerned,  and  in;  a  part  of  the  square  to 
which  nobody  not  proceeding  to  one  of  four  houses  which 
occupy  that  particular  side  ever  thinks  of  going,  its  little 
windows,  looking  upon  nothing,  give  the  idea  of  mingled 
dulness  and  inconvenience.  From  the  outside  it  looks  like 
a  prison; — enter  it,  it  looks  like  an  hospital,  in  which  a 
smell  of  curry-powder  pervades  the  '  wards, '-^wards  filled 
with  venerable  patients  dressed  in  nankeen  shorts,  yellow 
stockings,  and  gaiters,  and  faces  to  match.  There  may  still 
be  seen  pigtails  in  all  their  pristine  perfection.  It  is  the 
region  of  calico  shirts,  returned  writers,  and  guinea-pigs 
grown  into  bores.  Such  is  the  nabobery,  into  which  Harley- 
street,  Wimpole-street,  and  Gloucester-place,  daily  empty 
their  precious  stores  of  bilious  humanity."  Time  has 
blunted  the  point  of  this  satiric  picture,  the  individualities  of 
which  had  passed  away,  even  before  the  amalgamation  of 
the  Oriental  with  the  Alfred. 


THE  A  THEN^UM  CL  UB.  205 

The  Oriental  Club  was  established  in  1814,  by  Sir  Jchn 
Malcolm,  the  traveller  and  brave  soldier.  The  members, 
were  noblemen  and  gentlemen  associated  with  the  admi- 
nistration of  our  Eastern  empire,  or  who  have  travelled  or 
resided  in  Asia,  at  St.  Helena,  in  Egypt,  at  the  Cape  of 
Good  Hope,  the  Mauritius,  or  at  Constantinople. 

The  Oriental  was  erected  in  1827-8,  by  B.  and  P.  Wyatt, 
and  has  the  usual  Chib  characteristic  of  only  one  tier  of 
windows  above  the  ground-floor ;  the  interior  has  since  been 
redecorated  and  embellished  by  CoUman. 

The  Athenaeum  Club. 

The  Athenseum  presents  a  good  illustration  of  the  present 
Club  system,  of  which  it  was  one  of  the  earliest  instances. 
By  reference  to  the  accounts  of  the  Clubs  existing  about  the 
commencement  of  the  present  century,  it  will  be  seen  how 
greatly  they  differed,  both  in  constitution  and  purpose,  from 
the  modem  large  subscription-houses,  called  Clubs  ;  and 
which  are  to  be  compared  with  their  predecessors  only  in  so 
far  as  every  member  must  be  balloted  for,  or  be  chosen  by 
the  consent  of  the  rest.  Prior  to  1824  there  was  only  one 
institution  in  the  metropolis  particularly  devoted  to  the 
association  of  Authors,  Literary  Men,  Members  of  Parlia- 
ment, and  promoters  generally  of  the  Fine  Arts.  AH  other 
establishments  were  more  or  less  exclusive,  comprising  gentle 
men  who  screened  themselves  in  the  windows  of  White's, 
or  Members  for  Counties,  who  darkened  the  doors  ov 
Brookes's ;  or  they  were  dedicated  to  the  Guards,  or  "  men 
of  wit  and  pleasure  about  town."  It  is  true  that  the  Royal 
Society  had  its  convivial  meetings,  as  we  have  already 
narrated ;  and  small  Clubs  of  members  of  other  learned 
Societies  were  held ;  but  with  these  exceptions,  there  were 
no  Clubs  where  individuals  known  for  their  scientific  or 
literary  attainments,  artists  of  eminence  in  any  class  of  the 
Fine  Arts,  and  noblemen  and  gentlemen  distinguished  as 


2o6  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

patrons  of  science,  literature,  and  the  arts,  could  unite  in 
friendly  and  encouraging  intercourse ;  and  professional 
men  were  compelled  either  to  meet  at  taverns,  or  to  be 
confined  exclusively  to  the  Society  of  their  particular  profes- 
sions. 

To  remedy  this,  on  the  17th  of  February,  1824,  a  pre- 
liminary meeting, — comprising  Sir  Humphry  Davy,  the 
Right  Hon.  John  Wilson  Croker,  Sir  Francis  Chantrey, 
Richard  Heber,  Sir  Thomas  Lawrence,  Dr.  Thomas  Young, 
Lord  Dover,  Davie  Gilbert,  the  Earl  of  Aberdeen,  Sir  Henry 
Halford,  Sir  Walter  Scott,  Joseph  Jekyll,  Thomas  Moore, 
and  Charles  Hatchett, — ^was  held  in  the  apartments  of  the 
Royal  Society,  at  Somerset  House;  at  this  meeting  Pro- 
fessor Faraday  assisted  as  secretary,  and  it  was  agreed  to 
institute  a  Club  to  be  called  "  The  Society,"  subsequently 
altered  to  "  The  Athenaeum."  "  The  Society  "  first  met  in 
the  Clarence  Club-house ;  but,  in  1830,  the  present  mansion, 
designed  by  Decimus  Burton,  was  open  to  the  members. 

The  Athenaeum  Club-house  is  built  upon  a  portion  of  the 
court-yard  of  Carlton  House.  The  architecture  is  Grecian, 
with  a  frieze  exactly  copied  from  the  Panathenaic  procession 
in  the  frieze  of  the  Parthenon, — the  flower  and  beauty  of 
Athenian  youth,  gracefully  seated  on  the  most  exquisitely 
sculptured  horses,  which  Flaxman  regarded  as  the  most 
precious  example  of  Grecian  power  in  the  sculpture  of 
animals.  Over  the  Roman  Doric  entrance-portico  is  a 
colossal  figure  of  Minerva,  by  Baily,  R.A. ;  and  the  interior 
has  some  fine  casts  of  chefs-d'oeuvre  of  sculpture.  Here  the 
architecture  is  grand,  massive,  and  severe.  The  noble 
Hall,  35  feet  broad  by  57  feet  long,  is  divided  by  scaglidla 
columns  and  pilasters,  the  capitals  copied  from  the  Choragic 
Monument  of  Lysicrates.  This  is  the  Exchange,  oi- Lounge, 
where  the  members  meet.  The  floor  is  the  Marmorato 
Veneziano  mosaic.  Over  each  of  the  two  fire-places,  in  a 
niche,  is  a  statue — the  Diana  Robing  and  the.  Venus 
Victrix,   selected  by  Sir  Thomas  Lawrence — a  very  fine 


THE  ATffEN^UM  CLUB.  207 

contrivance  for  sculptural  display.  .  The  Library  is  the  best 
Club  Library  in  London :  it  comprises  the  most  rare  and 
valuable  works,  and  a  very  considerable  sum  is  annually 
expended  upon  the  collection,  under  the  guidance  of 
members  most  eminent  in  literature  and  science.  Above 
the  mantelpiece  is  a  portrait  of  George  IV.,  painted  by 
Lawrence,  upon  which  he  was  engaged  but  a  few  hours 
previous  to  his  decease  ;  the  last  bit  of  colour  this  celebrated 
artist  ever  put  upon  canvas  being  that  of  the  hilt  and  sword- 
knot  of  the  girdle ;  thus  it  remains  unfinished.  The  book- 
cases of  the  drawing-rooms  are  crowned  with  busts  of 
British  worthies.  Among  the  Club  gossip  it  is  told  that  a 
inember  who  held  the  Library  faith  of  the  promise  of  the 
Fathers,  and  was  anxious  to  consult  their  good  works,  one 
day  asked,  in  a  somewhat  fahiiliar  tone  of  acquaintance  with 
these  respectable  theologians,  "  Is  Justin  Martyr  here  ?" — 
"I  do  not  know,"  was  the  reply;  "I  will  refer  to  the 
list;  but  I  do  not  think  that  gentleman  is  one  of  our 
members  " 

Mr.  Walker,  in  his  very  pleasant  work,  "The  Original,'' 
was  one  of  the  first  to  show  how  by  the  then  new  system  of 
Clubs  the  facilities  of  living  were  wonderfully  increased, 
whilst  the  expense  was  greatly  diminished.  For  a  few 
pounds  a  year,  advantages  are  to  be  enjoyed  which  no 
fortunes,  except  the  most  ample,  can  procure.  The  only 
Club  (he  continues)  I  belong  to  is  the  Athenaeum,  which 
consists  of  twelve  hundred  members,  amongst  v/hom  are  to 
be  reckoned  a  large  proportion  of  the  most  eminent  persons 
in  the  land,  in  every  line, — civil,  military,  and  ecclesiastical, 
— ^peers  spiritual  and  temporal  (ninety-five  noblemen  and 
twelve  bishops),  commoners,  men  of  the  learned  professions, 
those  connected  with  science,  the  arts,  and  commerce,  in  all 
its  principal  branches,  as  well  as  the  distinguished  who  do 
not  belong  to  any  particular  class.  Many  of  these  are  to  be 
met  with  every  day,  living  with  the  same  freedom  as  in  their 
•own  houses,  for  25  guineas  entrance,  and  6  guineas  a  year. 


2o8  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON: - 

Every  member  has  the  command  of  an  excellent  library, 
with  maps ;  of  newspapers,  English  and  foreign ;  the  prin- 
cipal periodicals ;  writing  materials,  and  attendance.  The 
building  is  a  sort  of  palace,  and  is  kept  with  the  same  exact- 
ness and  comfort  as  a  private  dwelling.  Every  member  is 
master,  without  any  of  the  trouble  of  a  master  :  he  can  come 
when  he  pleases,  and  stay  away  when  he  pleases,  without 
anything  going  wrong;  he  has  the  command  of  regular 
servants,  without  having  to  pay  or  manage  them ;.  he  can 
have  whatever  meal  or  refreshment  he  wants,  at  all  hours, 
and  served  up  as  in  his  own  house.  He  orders  just  what  he 
pleases,  having  no  interest  to  think  of  but  his  own.  In 
short,  it  is  impossible  to  suppose  a  greater  degree  of  liberty 
in:  living. 

"  Clubs,  as  far  as  my  observation  goes,  are  favourable  to 
economy  of  time.  There  is  a  fixed  place  to  go  to,  every- 
thing is  served  with  comparative  expedition,  and  it  is  not 
customary  in  general  to  remain  long  at  table.  They  are 
favourable  to  temperance.  It  seems  that  when  people  can 
freely  please  tliemselves,  and  when  they  have  an  oppor- 
tunity of  living  simply,  excess  is  seldom  committed.  From 
an  account  I  have  of  the  expenses  at  the  Athenaeum  in  the 
year  1832,  it  appears  that  17,323  dinners  cost,  on  an 
average,  2s.  g%d.  each,  and  that  the  average  quantity  of 
wine  for  each  person  was  a  small  fraction  more  than  half- 
a-pint. 

"The  expense  of  building  the  Club-house  was  35,000/., 
and  5,000/.  for  furnishing ;  the  plate,  Hnen,  and  glass  cost 
2,500/. ;  library,  4,000/,  and  the  stock  of  wine  in  cellar  is 
usually  worth  about  4,000/  :  yearly  revenue  about  9,000/ 

The  economical  management  of  the  Club  has  not,  how- 
ever, been  effected  without  a  few  sallies  of  humour.  In 
1834,  we  read  :  "  The  mixture  of  Whigs,  Radicals,  savants, 
foreigners,  dandies,  authors,  soldiers,  sailors,  lawyers,  artists, 
doctors,  and  Members  of  both  Houses  of  Parliament,  toge- 
ther with  ar  exceedingly  good  average  supply  of  bishops, 


Lion-s  Head  Box  at  Button's  Coffee  House.     {Designed by  Hogarth.) 


White  Horse,  Chelsea.    (Built  about  1 5  50. ) 


THE  ATHENMUM  CLUB.  209 

render  the  ni'elange  very  agreeable,  despite  of  some  two  or 
three  bores,  who  '  continually  do  dine ; '  and  who,  not  satis- 
fied with  getting  a  f)S.  dinner  for  3^.  6^.,  '  continually  do 
complain.' " 

Mr.  Rogers,  the  poet,  was  one  of  the  earliest  members 
of  the  Athenffium,  and  innumerable  are  the  good  things, 
though  often  barbed  with  bitterness,  which  are  recorded  of 
him. 

Some  years  ago,  judges,  bishops,  and  peers  used  to  con- 
gregate at  the  Athenaeum ;  but  a  club  of  twelve  hundred 
members  cannot  be  select.  "  Warned  by  the  necessity  of 
keeping  up  their  number  and  their  funds,  they  foolishly  set 
abroad  a  report  that  the  finest  thing  in  the  world  was  to 
belong  to  the  Athenseum ;  and  that  an  opportunity  offered 
for  hobno  bbing  with  archbishops,  and  hearing  Theodore 
Hook's  jokes.  Consequently  all  the  little  crawlers  and 
parasites,  and  gentility-hunters,  from  all  corners  of  London, 
set  out  upon  the  creep  ;  and  they  crept  in  at  the  windows, 
and  they  crept  down  the  area  steps,  and  they  crept  in  unseen 
at  the  doors,  and  they  crept  in  under  bishops'  sleeves,  and 
they  crept  in  in  peers'  pockets,  and  they  were  blovm  in  by  the 
winds  of  chance.  The  consequence  has  been,  that  ninety- 
nine  hundredths  of  this  Club  are  people  who  rather  seek  to 
obtain  a  sort  of  standing  by  belonging  to  the  Athenseum, 
than  to  give  it  lustre  by  the  talent  of  its  members.  Nine- 
tenths  of  the  intellectual  writers  of  the  age  would  be  cer- 
tainly black-balled  by  the  dunces.  Notwithstanding  all 
this,  and  partly  on  account  of  this,  the  Athenseum  is  a  capital 
Club  :  the  library  is  certainly  the  best  Club  library  in 
London,  and  is  a  great  advantage  to  a  man  who  writes."  * 

Theodore  Hook  was  one  of  the  most  clubbable  men  of 
his  time.  After  a  late  breakfast^  he  would  force  and  strain 
himself  at  large  arrears  of  literary  toil,  and  then  drive 
rapidly  from  Fulham  to  town,  and  pay  a  visit  "  first  to  one 


*  New  Quarterly  Revtew. 
P 


210  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

Club,  where,  the  centre  of  an  admiring  circle,  his  intellec- 
tual faculties  were  again  upon  the  stretch,  and  again  aroused 
and  sustained  by  artificial  means  :  the  same  thing  repeated 
at  a  second — the  same  drain  and  the  same  supply — ballot 
or  general  meeting  at  a  third,  the  chair  taken  by  Mr.  Hook, 
who  addresses  the  members,  produces  the  accounts,  audits 
and  passes  them — gives  a  succinct  statement  of  the  pro- 
spects and  finances  of  the  Society — parries  an  awkward 
question — extinguishes  a  grumbler — confounds  an  opponent 
— proposes  a  vote  of  thanks  to  himself,  seconds,  carries  it, 
— and  returns  thanks,  with  a  vivacious  rapidity  that  entirely 
confounds  the  unorganised  schemes  of  the  minority — then  a 
chop  in ;  the  committee-room,  and  just  one  tumbler  of 
brandy-andrwater,  or  two,  and  we  fear  the  catalogue  would 
not  always  close  there." 

At  the  A.thenseum,  Hook  was  a  great  card  ;  and  in  a  note 
to  the  sketch  of  him  in  the  Quarterly  Review,  it  is  stated 
that  the  number  of  dinners  at  this  Club  fell  off  by  upwards 
of  three  hundred  per  annum  after  Hook  disappeared  from 
his  favourite  corner,  near  the  door  of  the  coffee-room.  That 
is  to  say,  there  must  have  been  some  dozens  of  gentlemen 
who  chose  to  dine  there  once  or  twice  every  week  of  the 
season,  merely  for  the  chance  of  Hook's,  being  there,  arid 
permitting  them  to  draw  their  chairs  to  his  little  table  in 
the  course  of  the  evening.  Oftheextent  to  which  he  suffered  < 
from  this  sort  of  invasion,  there  are  several  bitter  oblique 
complaints  in  his  novels.  The  corner  alluded  to  will,  we 
suppose,  long-  retain  the  name  which  it  derived  from  him — 
Temperance  Corner.  Many  grave  and  dignified  persons,ges 
being  frequent  guests,  it  would  hardly  have  been  seemly  to 
be  calling  for  repeated  supplies  of  a  certain  description; 
but  the  waiters  well  understood :  what  the  oracle,  of  the 
corner  meant  by  "Another  glass  of  toast-and-water,"  or, 
"  A  little  more  lemonade."  ;; 


The  University  Club, 

In  Suffolk-street,  Pall  Mali- East;  was  instituted  in  1824, 
and  the  Club-house,  designed  by  Deering  and  Wilkins, 
architects,  was  opened  1826.  It  is  of  the  Grecian  Doric 
and  Ionic  orders  ;  and  the  staircase  walls  have  casts  from 
the  Parthenon  frieze.  The  Club  consists  chiefly  of  Members 
of  Parliament  who  have  received  University  education ; 
several  of  the  judges,  and  a  large  number  of  beneficed 
clergymen.  This  Club  has  the  reputation  of  possessing 
the  best  stocked  wine-cellar  in  London,  which  is  of  no  small 
importance  to  Members,  clerical  or  lay. 

Economy  of  Clubs. 

Thirty  years  ago,  Mr.  Walker  took  some  pains  to  disabuse 
the  public  mind  of  a  false  notion  that  feiriale  society  was 
much  affected  by  the  multiplication  of  Clubs.,«  He  remarks 
that  in  those  hours  of  the  evening,  which  are  peculiarly 
dedicated  to  society,  he  could  scarcely  count  twenty  mem- 
bers in  the  suite  of  rooms  upstairs  at  the  Athenaeum  Club. 
If  female  society  be  neglected,  he  contended  that  it  was  not 
owing  to  the  institution  of  Clubs,  but  more  probably  to  the 
long  sittings  of  the  House,  of  Commons,  and  to  the  want 
of  easy  access  to  family  circles.  At  the  Athenaeum  he  never 
heard  it  even  hinted,  that  married  men  frequented  it  to  the 
prejudice  of  their  domestic  habits,  or  that  bachelors  were 
kept  from  general  society.  Indeed,  Mr.  Walker  maintains, 
that  Clubs  are  a  preparation  and  not  a  substitute  for  domestic 
life.  Compared  with  the  previous  system  of  living,  they 
induce  habits  of  economy,  temperance,  refinement,  regularity, 
and  good  orden  .,  Still,  a  Club  only  offers  an  imitation  of 
the  comforts  of  home,  but  only  an  imitation,  and  one  which 
will  never  supersede  the  reality. 

However,  the  question  became  a  subject  for  pleasant 
p  a 


212  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

satire.  Mrs.  Gore,  in  one  of  her  clever  novels,  has  these 
shrewd  remarks  : — "  London  Clubs,  after  all,  are  not  bad 
things  for  family  men.  They  act  as  conductors  to  the 
storms  usually  hovering-  in  the  air.  The  man  forced  to 
remain  at  home  and  vent  his  crossness  on  his  wife  and  chil- 
dren, is  a  much  worse  animal  to  bear  with,  than  the  man  who 
grumbles  his  way  to  Pall  Mall,  and  not  daring  to  swear  at  the 
Club-servants,  or  knock  about  the  club-furniture,  becomes 
socialized  into  decency.  Nothing  like  the  subordination  exer- 
cised in  a  community  of  equals  for  reducing  a  fiery  temper." 

Mr.  Hood,  in  his  Comic  Anmtal  for  1838,  took  up  the 
topic  in  his  rich  vein  of  comic  humour,  and  here  is  the 

amusing  result: — 

CLUBS. 

TURNED  UP  BY  A  FEMALE  HAND. 

Of  all  the  modem  schemes  of  Man 

That  time  has  brought  to  bear, 
A  plague  upon  the  wicked  plan 

That  parts  the  wedded  pair  ! 
My  female  friends  they  all  agree 

They  hardly  know  their  hubs ; 
And  heart  and  voice  unite  with  me, 

"  We  hate  the  name  of  Clubs  !" 

One  selfish  course  the  Wretches  keep  ; 
,  They  come  at  morning  chimes  ; 

To  snatch  a  few  short  hours  of  sleep — 
Rise — breakfast — read  the  Times — 
Then  take  their  hats,  and  post  away, 
Like  Clerks  or  City  scrubs, 
k.  And  no  one  sees  them  all  the  day, — 

They  live,  eat,  drink,  at  Clubs  ! 

With  Rundell,  Dr.  K.,  or  Glasse, 

And  such  Domestic  books. 
They  once  put  up,  but  now,  alas  ! 

It's  hey  !  for  foreign  cooks, 
"  When  will  you  dine  at  home,  my  dove  f 

I  say  to  Mr.  Stubbs. 
"  When  Cook  can  make  an  omelette,  love— 

An  omelette  like  the  Clubs  1" 


ECONOMY  OF  CL  UBS.  i<  \  3 

Time  was,  their  hearts  were  only  placed 

On  snug  domestic  schemes, 
The  book  for  two — united  taste, 

And  such  connubial  dreams, — 
Friends,  dropping  in  at  close  of  day, 

To  singles,-  doubles,  rubs, — 
A  little  music, — then  the  tray, — 

And  not  a  word  of  Clubs  ! 

But  former  comforts  they  condemn  ; 

French  kickshaws  they  discuss, 
And  take  their  wine,  the  wine  takes  them, 

And  then  they  favour  us  ; — 
From  some  offence  they  can't  digest. 

As  cross  as  bears  with  cubs. 
Or  sleepy,  dull,  and  queer,  at  best — 

That's  how  they  come  from  Clubs  ! 

It's  veiy  fine  to  say,  "  Subscribe 

To  Andrews' — can't  you  read  ?" 
When  wives,  the  poor  neglected  tribe, 

Complain  how  they  proceed  ! 
They'd  better  recommend  at  once 

Philosophy  and  tubs, — 
A  woman  need  not  be  a  dunce. 

To  feel  the  wrong  of  Clubs. 

A  set  of  savage  Goths  and  Picts 

Would  seek  us  now  and  then, — 
They're  pretty  pattern- Benedicts 

To  guide  our  single  men  ! 
Indeed,  my  daugliters  both  declare 

"  Their  Beaux  shall  not  be  subs 
To  White's,  or  Black's,  oi"  anywhere, — 

They've  seen  enough  of  Clubs  !" 

They  say,  without  the  marriage  ties. 

They  can  devote  their  hours 
To  catechize,  or  botanize — 

Shells,  Sunday  Schools,  and  flow'rs — 
Or  teach  a  Pretty  Poll  new  words, 

Tend  Covent  Garden  shrubs. 
Nurse  dogs  and  chirp  to  little  birds — 

As  Wives  do  since  the  Clubs. 


214  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

Alas  !  for  those  departed  days 

Of  social  wedded  life, 
When  married  folks  had  married  ways, 

And  liv'd  like  Man  and  Wife  ! 
Oh  !  Wedlock  then  was  pick'd  by  none — 

As  safe  a  lock  as  Chubb's  ! 
But  couples,  that  should  be  as  one, 

Are  now  the  Two  of  Clubs  ! 

Of  all  the  modern  schemes  of  Man 

That  time  has  brought  to  bear, 
A  plague  upon  the  wicked  plan. 

That  parts  the  wedded  pair  ! 
My  wedded  friends  they  all  allow 

They  meet  with  slights  and  snubs. 
And  say,  "  They  have  no  husbands  now. 

They're  married  to  the  Clubs  !" 

The  satire  soon  reached  the  stage.  About  five-and- 
twenty  years  since  there  was  produced,  at  the  old  wooden 
Olympic  Theatre,  Mr.  Mark  Lemon's  farce,  The  Ladies^ 
Club,  which  proved  one  of  the  most  striking  pieces  of  the 
time.  "Though  in  1840  Clubs,  in  the  modern  sense  of  the 
word,  had  been  for  some  years  established,  they  were  not 
quite  recognised  as  social  necessities,  and  the  complaints  of 
married  ladies  and  of  dowagers  with  marriageable  daughters, 
to  the  effect  that  these  institutions  caused  husbands  to 
desert  the  domestic  hearth  and  encouraged  bachelors  to 
remain  single,  expressed  something  of  a  general  feeling. 
Public  opinion  was  ostentatiously  on  the  side  of  the  ladies 
and  against  the  Clubs,  and  to  this  opinion  Mr.  Mark  Lemon 
responded  when  he  wrote  his  most  successful  farce."* 

Here  are  a  few  experiences  of  Club-life.  "There  are 
many  British  lions  in  the  coffee-room  who  have  dined  off  a 
joint  and  beer,  and  have  drunk  a  pint  of  port  wine  after- 
wards, and  whose  bill  is  but  4J.  3(/.  One  great  luxury  in  a 
modem  Club  is  that  there  is  no  temptation  to  ostentatious 


*  Times  journal. 


ECONOMY  OF  CLUBS.  215 

•expense.  At  an  hotel  there  is  an  inclination  in  some 
natures  to  be  'a  good  custumer.'  At  a  Club  the  best  men 
are  generally  the  most  frugal — they  are  afraid  of  being 
thought  like  that  little  snob,  Calicot,  who  is  always  sur- 
rounded by  fine  dishes  and  expensive  \rtnes  (even  when 
aJone),  and  is  always  in  loud  talk  with  the  butler,  and  in 
correspondence  with  the  committee  about  the  cook.  Calicot 
is  a  rich  man,  with  a  large  bottle-nose,  and  people  black- 
ball his  friends. 

"  For  a  home,  a  man  must  have  a  large  Club,  where  the 
members  are  recruited  from  a  large  class,  where  the  funds 
are  in  a  good  state,  where  a  large  number  every  day  break- 
fast and  dine,  and  where  a  goodly  number  think  it  necessary 
to  be  on  the  books  and  pay  their  subscriptions,  although 
they  do  not  use  the  Club.  Above  all,  your  home  Club  should 
be  a  large  Club,  because,  eveii  if  a  Club  be  ever  so  select, 
the  highest  birth  and  most  unexceptionable  fashion  do  not 
prevent  a  man  from  being  a  bore.  Every  Club  must  have  its 
bores ;  but  in  a  large  Club  you  can  get  out  of  their  way."* 

"  It  is  a  vulgar  error  to  regard  a  Club  as  the  rich  man's 
public-house:  it  bears  no  analogy  to  a  public-house :  it  is  as 
much  the  private  property  of  its  members  as  any  ordinary 
•dwelling-house  is  the  property  of  the  man  who  built  it. 

"  Our  Clubs  are  thoroughly  characteristic  of  us.  We  are 
-a  fraud  people, — it  is  of  no  use  denying  it,— and  have  a 
horror  of  indiscriminate  association ;  hence  the  exclusive- 
ness  of  our  Clubs. 

"We  are  an  economical  people,  and  love  to  obtain  the 
-greatest  possible  amount  of  luxury  at  the  least  possible  ex- 
pense :  hence  at  our  Clubs  we  dine  at  prime  cost,  and 
-drink  the  finest  wines  at  a  price  which  we  should  have  to 
-pay  for  slow  poison  at  a  third-rate  inn. 

"  We  are  a  domestic  people,  and  hence  our  Clubs  afford  us 
^11  the  comforts  of  home,  when  we  are  away  from  home,  or 


*  New  Quarterly  Review. 


8I6  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

when  we  have  none.  Finally,  we  are  a  quarrelsome  people, 
and  the  Clubs  are  eminently  adapted  for  the  indulgence 
of  that  amiable  taste.  A  book  is  kept  constantly  open  to 
receive  the  out-pourings  of  our  ill-humour  against  all  persons 
and  things.  The  smokers  quarrel  with  the  non-smokers; 
the  billiard-players  wage  war  against  those  who  don't  play  ; 
and,  in  fact,  an  internecine  war  is  constantly  going  on  upon 
every  conceivable  trifle ;  and  when  we  retire  exhausted  from 
the  fray,  sofas  and  chaises  longues  are  everywhere  at  hand, 
whereon  to  repose  in  extenso.  The  London  Clubs  are  cer- 
tainly the  abodes  of  earthly  bliss,  yet  the  ladies  won't 
think  so."* 

The    Union    Club. 

This  noble  Club-house,  at  the  south-west  angle  of  Trafal- 
gar-square, was  erected  in  1824,  from  designs  by  Sir  Robert 
Smirke,  R.A.  It  is  much  less  ornate  than  the  Club-houses 
of  later- date;  but  its  apartments  are  spacious  and  handsome, 
and  it  faces  one  of  the  finest  open  spaces  in  the  metropolis. 
As  its  name  implies,  it  consists  of  politicians,  and  professional 
and  mercantile  men,  without  reference  to  partj  opinions  ; 
and,  it  has  been  added,  is  "a resort  of  wealthy  citizens,  who 
just  fetch  Charing  Cross  to  inhale  the  fresh  air  as  it  is  drawn 
from  the  Park  through  the  funnel,  by  Berkeley  House,  out 
of  Spring  Gardens,  into  their  bay-window." 

James  Smith,  one  of  the  authors  of  the  "  Rejected  Ad- 
dresses," was  a  member  of  the  Union,  which  he  describes  as 
chiefly  composed  of  merchants,  lawyers,  members  of  Parlia- 
ment, and  of  "  gentlemen  at  large."  He  thus  sketches  a  day's 
life  here.  "  At  three  o'clock  I  walk  to  the  Union  Club,  read 
the  journals,  hear  Lord  John  Russell  deified  or  diablerized, 
do  the  same  with  Sir  Robert  Peel  or  the  Duke  of  Wellirigton, 
and  then  join  a  knot  of  conversationists  by  -the  fire  till  six 
o'clock.     We  then  and  there  discuss  the  Three  per  Cent. 


The  Builder. 


THE  UNION  CLUB.  217 

Consols  (some  of  us  preferring  Dutch  Two-and-a-half  per 
Cents.),  and  speculate  upon  the  probable  rise,  shape,  and 
cost  of  the  New  Exchange.  If  Lady  Harrington  happen  to 
drive  past  our  window  in  her  landau,  we  compare  her 
equipage  to  the  Algerine  Ambassador's  ;  and  when  politics 
happen  to  be  discussed,  rally  Whigs,  Radicals,  and  Conserva- 
tives alternately,  but  never  seriously,  such  subjects  having 
a  tendency  to  a-eate  acrimony.  At  six,  the  room  begins  to 
be  deserted;  wherefore  I  adjourn  to  the  dining-room,  and 
gravely  looking  over  the  bill  of  fare,  exclaim  to  the  waiter, 
'  Haunch  of  mutton  and  apple-tart !'  These  viands  dis- 
patched, with  the  accompanying  liquids  and  water,  I  mount 
upward  to  the  library,  take  a  book  and  my  seat  in  the  arm- 
chair, and  read  till  nine.  Then  call  for  a  cup  of  coffee  and 
a  biscuit,  resuming  my  book  till  eleven ;  afterwards  return 
home  to  bed."    The  smoking-room  is  a  very  fine  apartment. 

One  of  the  grumbling  members  of  the  Union  was  Sir 
James  Aylott,  a  two-bottle  man;  one  day,  observing  Mr. 
James  Smith  furnished  with  half-a-pint  of  sherry.  Sir  James 
eyed  his  cruet  with  contempt,  and  exclaimed:  "So,  I  see 
you  have  got  one  of  those  d — d  Ufe  preservers." 

The  Club  has  ever  been  famed  for  its  cuisine,  upon  the 
strength  of  which,  we  are  told  that  next  door  to  the  Club- 
house, in  Cockspur-street,  was  established  the  Union  Hotel, 
which  speedily  became  renowned  for  its  turtle  ;  it  was 
opened  in  1823,  and  was  one  of  the  best  appointed  hotels 
of  its  day ;  and  Lord  Panmure,  a  gourmet  of  the  highest 
order,  is  said  to  have  taken  up  his  quarters  in  this  hotel, 
for  several  successive  seasons,  for  the  sake  of  the  soup.* 


'London  Clubs,  1853,"  p.  75. 


2l8 


The  Garrick  Club. 

Mr.  Thackeray  was  a  hearty  lover  of  London,  and  has 
left  us  many  evidences  of  his  sincerity.  He  greatly 
favoured  Covent  Garden,  of  which  he  has  painted  this 
clever  picture,  sketched  from  "the  Garden,"  where  are 
annually  paid  for  fruits  and  vegetables  some  three  millionf 
sterling  :— 

"  The  two  great  national  theatres  on  one  side,  a  church- 
yard full  of  mouldy  but  undying  celebrities  on  the  other ;  a 
fringe  of  houses  studded  in  every  part  with  anecdote  and 
history ;  an  arcade,  often  more  gloomy  and  deserted  than  a 
cathedral  aisle  ;  a  rich  cluster  of  brown  old  taverns — one  of 
them  filled  with  the  counterfeit  presentment  of  many  actors 
long  since  silent,  who  scowl  or  smile  once  more  from  the 
canvas  upon  the  grandsons  of  their  dead  admirers  ;  a  some- 
thing in  the  air  which  breathes  of  old  books,  old  pictures, 
old  painters,  and  old  authors;  a  place  beyond  all  other 
places  one  would  choose  in  which  to  hear  the  chimes  at 
midnight;  a  crystal  palace — the  representative  of  the 
present — ^which  peeps  in  timidly  from  a  comer  upon  many 
things  of  the  past ;  a  withered  bank,  that  has  been  sucked 
dry  by  a  felonious  clerk;  a  squat  building,  with  a  hundred 
columns  and  chapel-looking  fronts,  which  always  stands 
knee-deep  in  baskets,  flowers,  and  scattered  vegetables ;  a 
common  centre  into  which  Nature  showers  her  choicest 
gifts,  and  where  the  kindly  fruits  of  the  earth  often  nearly 
choke  the  narrow  thoroughfares ;  a  population  that  never 
seems  to  sleep,  and  that  does  all  in  its  power  to  prevent 
others  sleeping ;  a  place  where  the  very  latest  suppers  and 
the  earliest  breakfasts  jostle  each  other  on  the  footways — 
such  is  Covent-Garden  Market,  with  some  of  its  surrounding 
features." 

About  a  century  and  a  quarter  ago,  the  parish  of  St.  Paul 
was,  according  to  John  Thomas  Smith,  the  only  fashionable 


THE  GARRICK  CLUB.  219 

part  of  the  town,  and  the  residence  of  a  great  number  of 
persons  of  rank  and  title,  and  artists  of  the  first  eminence ; 
and  also  from  the  concourse  of  wits,  literary  characters,  and 
other  men  of  genius,  who  frequented  the  numerous  coffee- 
houses, wine  and  cider  cellars,  jelly-shops,  etc.,  within  its 
boundaries,  the  list  of  whom  particularly  includes  the 
eminent  names  of  Butler,  Addison,  Sir  Richard  Steele, 
Otway,  Dryden,  Pope,  Warburton,  Gibber,  Fielding, 
Churchill,  Bdlingbroke,  and  Dr.  Samuel  Johnson;  Rich, 
Woodward,  Booth,  Wilkes,  Garrick,  and  Mackhii'j  Kitty 
Glive,  Peg  Woffington,  Mrs.  Pritchard,  the  Duchess  of 
Bolton,  Lady  Derby,  Lady  Thurlow,  and  the  Duchess  of 
St  Alban's ;  Sir  Peter  Lely,  Sir  Godfrey  Kneller,  and  Sir 
James  Thornhill ;  Vandevelde,  Zincke,  Lambert,  Hogarth, 
Hayman,  Wilson,  Dance,  Meyer,  etc.  The  name  of  Samuel 
Foote  should  be  added. 

Although  the  high  fashion  of  the  old  place  has  long  since 
ebbed  away,  its  theatrical  celebrity  remains  ;  and  the  locality 
is  storied  with  the  dramatic  associations  of  two  centuries. 
The  Sublime  Society  of  Steaks  have  met  upon  this  hallowed 
ground  through  a  century ;  and  some  thirty  years  ago  there 
was  established  in  the  street  leading  from  the  north-west 
angle  of  Covent-Garden  Market,  a  Club,  bearing  the  name 
of  our  greatest  actor.  Such  was  the  Garrick  Club,  instituted 
in  1831,  at  No.  35,  King-street,  "for  the  purpose  of  bringing 
together  the  '  patrons '  of  the  drama  and  its  professors,  and 
also  for  offering  literary  men  a  rendezvous ;  and  the  mana- 
gers of  the  Club  have  kept  those  general  objects  steadily  in 
view.  Nearly  all  the  leading  actors  are  members,  and  there 
are  few  of  the  active  literary  men  of  the  day  who  are  not 
upon  the  list.  The  large  majority  of  the  association  is 
composed  of  the  representatives  of  all  the  best  classes  of 
society.  The  number  of  the  members  is  limited,  and  the 
character  of  the  Club  is  social,  and  therefore  the  electing 
committee  is  compelled  to  exercise  very  vigilant  care,  for  it 
is  clear  that  it  would  be  better  that  ten  unobjectionable  men 


220  CLUB  LIFE  QF  LONDON. 

should  be  excluded  than  that^  one  terrible  bore  should  be 
admitted.  The  prosperity  of  the  Club,  and  the  eagerness  to 
obtain  admission  to  it,  are  the  best  proofs  of  its  healthy 
management ;  and  few  of  the  cases  of  grievance  alleged 
against  the  direction  will  bear  looking  into." 

The  house  in  King-street  was,  previous  to  its  occupation 
by  the  Garrick  men,  a  family  hotel:  it  was  rendered  toler- 
ably commodious,  but  in  course  of  time  it  was  found 
insufficient  for  the  increased  number  of  members ;  and  in 
1864  the  Club  removed  to  a  new  house  built  for  them  a 
little  more  westward  than  the  old  one.  But  of  the  old 
place,  inconvenient  as  it  was,  will  long  be  preserved  the 
interest  of  association.  The  house  has  since  been  taken 
down ;  but  its  memories  are  embalmed  in  a  gracefully 
written  paper,  by  Mr.  Shirley  Brooks,  which  appeared  in 
the  Illustrated  London  News,  immediately  before  the  re- 
moval of  the  Club  to  their  new  quarters;  and  is  as  follows: 

"From  James  Smith  (of  "Rejected  Addresses")  to 
Thackeray,  there  is  a  long  series  of  names  of  distinguished 
men  who  have  made  the  Garrick  their  favourite  haunt,  and 
whose  memories  are  connected  with  those  rooms.  The 
visitor  who  has  had  the  good  fortune  to  be  taken  through 
them,  that  he  might  examine  the  unequalled  collection  of 
theatrical  portraits,  will  also  retain  a  pleasant  remembrance 
of  the  place.  He  will  recollect  that  he  went  up  one  side  of 
a  double  flight  of  stone  steps  from  the  street,  and  entered  a 
rather  gloomy  hall,  in  which  was  a  fine  bust  of  Shakspeare, 
by  Roubiliac,  and  some  busts  of  celebrated  actors ;  and  he 
may  have  noticed  in  the  hall  a  tablet  recording  the  obliga- 
tion of  the  Club  to  Mr.  Dujrrant,  who  bequeathed  to  it  the 
pictures  collected  by  the  late  Charles  Mathews.  Conducted 
to  the  left,  the  visitor  found  himself  in  the  strangers'  dining- 
room,  which  occupied  the  whole  of  the  ground-floor.  This 
apartment,  where,  perhaps,  more,  pleasant  dinners  had  been 
given  than  in  any  room  in  London,  was  closely  hung  with 
pictures.     The  newest  was  Mr.  O'Neil's  admirable  likeness 


THE  GARRICK  CLUB.  221 

of  Mr.  Keeley,  and  it  hung  over  the  fireplace  in  the  front 
room,  near  Sir  Edwin  Landseer's  portrait  of  Charles  Young. 
There  were  many  very  interesting  pictures  in  this  room, 
among  them  a  Peg  Woffington ;  Lee  (the  author  of  the 
Bedlam  Tragedy,  in  nineteen  acts) ;  Mr.  Pritchard,  and  Mr. 
Garrick,  an  admirable  illustration  of 

Pritchard's  genteel,  and  Garrick  six  feet  liigh ; 

a  most  gentlemanly  one  of  Pope  the  actor,  Garrick  again  as 
Macbeth  in  the  courtrdress,  two  charming  little  paiiitings  of 
Miss  Poole  when  a  child-performer,  the  late  Frederick 
Yates,  Mrs.  Davison  (of  rare  beauty),  Miss  Lydia  ICelly, 
and  a  rich  store  besides.  The  stranger  Would  probably  be 
next  conducted  through  a  long  passage  until  he  reached  the 
smoking-rooni,  which  was  not  a  cheerful  apartmeint  by  day- 
light, and  empty ;  but  which  at  night,  and  full,  was  thought 
the  most  cheerful  apartment  in  town.  It  was  adorned  with 
gifts  from  artists  who  are  members  of  the  Club.  Mr. 
Stanfield  had  given  a  splendid  sea-piece,  with  a  wash  of 
waves  that  set  one  coveting  an  excursion ;  and  Mi.  David 
Roberts  had  given  a  large  and  noble  painting  of  Baalbec, 
one  of  his  finest  works.  These  great  pictures  occupied  two 
sides  of  the  room,  and  the  other  walls  were  similarly  orna- 
mented. Mrs.  Stirling's  bright  face  looked  down  upon  the 
smokers,  and  there  was  a  statuette  of  one  who  loved  the 
room — the  author  of  *  Vanity  Fair.' 

"The  visitor  was  then  brought  back  to  the  hall,  and 
taken  upstairs  to  the  drawing-room  floor.  On  the  wall  as  he 
passed  he  would  observe  a  vast  picture  of  Mr.  Charles 
Kemble  (long  a  member)  as  Macbeth,  and  a  Miss  O'Neil  as 
Juliet.  He  entered  the  coffee-room,  as  it  was  called,  which 
was  the  front  room,  looking  into  King-street,  and  behind 
which  was  the  morning-room,  for  newspapers  and  writing, 
and  in  which  was  the  small  but  excellent  library,  rich  in 
dramatic  works.  The  coffee-room  was  devoted  to  the 
members'  dinners ;  and  the  late  Mr.  Thackeray  dined  for  the 


222  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

last  time  away  from  home  at  a  table  in  a  niche  in  which 
hung  the  scene  from  The  Clandestine  Marriagtj  where  Lord 
Ogleby  is  preparing  to  join  the  ladies.  Over  the  fireplaide 
was  another  scene  from  the  same  play ;  and  on  the  mantel- 
piece were  Garrick's  candlesticks,  Kean's  ring,  and  some 
other  relics  of  interest.  The  paintings  in  this  room  were 
very  valuable.  There  was  Foote,  by  Reynolds  ;  a  Sheridan ; 
John  Kemble ;  Charles  Kemble  as  Charles  II.  (under  which 
picture  he  often  sat  in  advanced  life,  when  he  in  no  degree 
resembled  the  audacious,  stalwart  king  in  the  painting); 
Mrs,  Charles  Kemble,  in  male  attire;  Mrs.  Fitzwilliam; 
Charles  Matthews,  plre;  a  fine,  roystering  Woodward, 
reminding  one  of  the  rattling  times  of  stage  chivalry  and 
'  victorious  Burgundy ;'  and  in  the  moming-room  was  a 
delightful  Kitty  Clive,  another  Garrick,  and,  near  the 
ceiling,  a  row  of  strong  faces  of  by-gone  days — Cooke  the 
strongest. 

' '  On  the  second  floor  were  numerous  small  and  very  charac- 
1;ej:istic  portraits ;  and  in  a  press  full  of  large  folios  was  one 
of  the  completest  and  most  valuable  of  collections  of 
theatrical  prints.  In  the  card-room,  behind  this,  were  also 
some  very  quaint  and  curious  likenesses,  one  of  Mrs.  Liston, 
as  DollaloUa.  There  was  a  sweet  face  of  '  the  Prince's ' 
Perdita,  which  excuses  his  infatuation  and  aggravates  his 
treachery.  When  the  visitor  had  seen  these  things  and  a  few 
busts,  among  them  one  of  the  late  Justice  Talfourd  (an.  old 
member),  he  was  informed  that  he  had  seen  the  collection 
and  he  could  go  away,  unless  he  were  lucky  enough  to  have 
an  iftvitation  to  dine  in  the  strangers'  room. 
.  "  The  new  Club-house  is  a  little  more  westward  than  the 
old  on.e,rbut  not  much,  the  Garrick  having  resolved  to  cling 
to  the  classic  region  around  Covent-Garden.  It  is.  in 
Garrick-gtreet  from  the  west  end  of  King-street  to  Cran- 
bourn-street.  It  has  a  frontage  of  ninety-six  feet  to  the 
street ;  but  the  rear  was  very  difficult,  from  its  shape,  to 
manage,  and  Mr.  Marrable,  the  architect,  has  dealt  very 


THE  GARRICK  CLUB.  223 

cleverly  with  the  quaint  form  over  which  he  had  to  lay  out 
his  chambers.  The  house  is  Italian,  and  is  imposing  from 
having  been  judiciously  and  not  over-enrfched.  In  the  hall 
is  a  very  beautiful  Italian  screen.  The  noble  staircase  is  of 
carved  oak;  at  tlie  top,  a  landing-place,  from  which  is 
entered  the  morning-room,  the  card-toom,  and  the. library. 
All  the  apartments  demanded  by  the  habits  of  the  day-^ 
some  of  them  were  not  thought  necessary  in  the  days  of' 
Garrick — are,  of  course,  provided.  The  kitchens  and  all 
their  arrangements  are  sumptuous,  and  the  latest  culinary 
improvements  are  introduced.  The  system  of  sunlights 
appears  to  be  very  complete,  and  devices  for  a  perfect 
ventilation  have  not  been  forgotten." 

The  pictures  have  been  judiciously  hung  in  the  new 
rooms  :  they  include — EUiston  as  Octavian,  by  Singleton  ; 
Macklin  (aged  93),  by  Opie ;  Mrs.  Pritchard,  by  Hayman ; 
Peg  Woffington,  by  R.  Wilson;  Nell  Gwynne,  by  Sir  Peter 
Lely;  Mrs.  Abington;  Samuel  Foote,  by  Sir  Joshua 
Reynolds ;  CoUey  Gibber  as  Lord  Foppington ;  Mrs. 
Bracegirdle;  Kitty  Clive;  Mrs.  Robinson,  after  Reynolds; 
Garrick  as  Macbeth,  and  Mrs.  Pritchard,.  Lady  Macbeth,  by 
Zoffany ;  Garrick  as  Richard  III.,  by  Morland,  sen. ;  Young 
Roscius,  by  Opie ;  Quin,  by  Hogarth;  Rich  and  his  family, 
by  Hogarth ;  iCharles  Mathews,  four  characters,  by  Harlowe ; 
Nat  Lee,  painted  in  Bedlam ;  Anthony  Leigh  as  the  Spanish 
Friar,,  by  Kneller;  John  Liston,  by  Clint;  Munden,.  by 
Opie ;  John  Johnston,  by  Shee ;  Lacy  in  three  characters, 
by  Wright ;;  Scene  from  Charles  II.,  by  Clint;  Mrs.,Siddons 
as  Lady  Macbeth,  by  Harlowe;  J.  P.  Kemble  as  Cato,  by 
Lawrence ;  Macready  as  Henry  IV.,  by  Jackson ;  Edwinj 
by  ;Qainsborough ;  the  -  twelve  of  the  School  of  Gamck ; 
Kean,  Young,  EUiston,  and  Mrs.  Inchbald,  by  Harlowe; 
Garrick  as  Richard  III.,  by  Loutherbourg ;  Rich  as  Harle- 
quin ;  Moody  and  Parsons  in  The  Committee,  by  Vander- 
gucht ;  King  as  Touchstone,  by  Zoffany ;  Thomas  Dogget ; 
Henderson,  by  Gainsborough ;  Elder  Colman,  by  Reynolds ; 


224  CLUB  LIIE  OF  LONDON. 

Mrs.  Oldfield,  by  Kneller ;  Mrs.  Billington  ;  Nancy  Dawson; 
Screen  Scene  from  The  School  for  Scandal,  as  originally 
cast;  Scene  from  f^«/(ri?Pr^j(?rz/i?^(Garrick  and  Mrs.  Gibber), 
by  Zoffany ;  Scene  from  Macbelh  (Henderson) ;  Scene  from 
Love,  Law,  and  Physic  (Mathews,  Liston,  Blanchard,  and 
Emery),  by  Clint;  Scene  from  The  Clandestine  Marriage 
(King  and  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Baddeley),  by  Zoffany ;  Weston  as 
Billy  Button,  by  Zoffany. 

The  following  have  been  presented  to  the  Club  : — Busts 
of  Mrs.  Siddons  and  J.  P.  Kemble,  by  Mrs.  Siddons ;  of 
Garrick,  Captain  Marryat,  Dr.  Kitchiner,  and  Malibran; 
Garrick,  by  RoubiUac ;  Griffin  and  Johnson  in  The  Alchemist^ 
by  Von  Bleeck ;  Miniatures  of  Mrs.  Robinson  and  Peg 
Woffington ;  Sketch  of  Kean,  by  Lambert ;  Garrick  Mulberry- 
tree  Snuff-box ;  Joseph  Harris  as  Cardinal  Wolsey,  from  the 
Strawberry  Hill  Collection;  Proof  Print  of  the  Trial  of 
Queen  Katherine,  by  Harlowe. 

The  Garrick  men  will,  for  the  sake  of  justice,  excuse  the 
mention  of  a  short-coming :  at  the  first  dinner  of  the  Club, 
from  the  list  of  toasts  was  omitted  "  Shakspeare,"  who,  it 
must  be  allowed,  contributed  to  Garrick's  fame.  David  did 
not  so  forget  the  Bard,  as  is  attested  in  his  statue  by  Roubiliac, 
which,  after  adorning  the  Garrick  grounds  at  Hampton, 
was  bequeathed  by  the  grateful  actor  to  the  British  Museum. 

The  Club  were  entertained  at  a  sumptuous  dinner  by  their 
brother  member.  Lord  Mayor  Moon,  in  the  Egyptian  Hall 
of  the  Mansion  House,  in  1855. 

The  Gin-punch  made  with  iced  soda-water  is  a  notable 
potation  at  the  Garrick ;  and  the  rightful  patentee  of  the 
invention  was  Mr.  Stephen  Price,  an  American  gentleman, 
well  known  on  the  turf,  and  as  the  lessee  of  Drury-lane 
Theatre.     His  title  has  been  much  disputed — 

Grammatici  certant  et  adhuc  sub  judice  lis  est ; 

and  many,  misled  by  Mr.  Theodore  Hook's  frequent  and 
liberal  application  of  the  discovery,  were  in  the  habit  of 


THE  GARRICK  CLUB.  225 

ascribing  it  to  him.  But  Mr.  Thomas  Hill,  the  celebrated 
"  trecentenarian "  of  a  popular  song,  who  was  present  at 
Mr.  Hook's  first  introduction  to  the  beverage,  has  set  the 
matter  at  rest  by  a  brief  narration  of  the  circumstances. 
One  hot  afternoon,  in  July,  1835,  the  inimitable  author  of 
"  Sayings  and  Doings  "  (what  a  book  might  be  made  of  his 
own !)  strolled  into  the  Garrick  in  that  equivocal  state  of 
thirstiness  which  it  requires  something  more  than  common 
to  quench.  On  describing  the  sensation,  he  was  recom- 
mended to  make  a  trial  of  the  punch,  and  a  jug  was 
compounded  immediately  under  the  personal  inspection  of 
Mr.  Price.  A  second  followed — a  third,  with  the  accom- 
paniment of  some  chops — a  fourth — a  fifth — a  sixth— at  the 
expiration  of  which  Mr.  Hook  went  away  to  keep  a  dinner 
engagement  at  Lord  Canterbury's.  He  always  ate  little, 
and  on  this  occasion  he  ate  less,  and  Mr.  Horace  Twiss 
inquired  in  a  fitting  tone  of  anxiety  if  he  was  ill.  "  Not 
exactly,"  was  the  reply ;  "  but  my  stomach  won't  bear 
trifling  with,  and  I  was  tempted  to  take  a  biscuit  and  a  glass 
of  sherry  about  three." 

The  receipt  for  the  gin  punch  is  as  follows  : — Pour  half  a 
pint  of  gin  on  the  outer  peel  of  a  lemon,  then  a  little  lemon- 
juice,  a  glass  of  maraschino,  about  a  pint  and  a  quarter  of 
water,  and  two  bottles  of  iced  soda-water ;  and  the  result 
will  be  three  pints  of  the  punch  in  question. 

Another  choice  spirit  of  the  Garrick  was  the  aforesaid 
Hill,  "  Tom  Hill,"  as  he  was  called  by  all  who  loved  and 
knew  him.  He  "  happened  to  know  everything  that  was 
going  forward  in  all  circles — ^mercantile,  political,  fashionable, 
literary,  or  theatrical ;  in  addition  to  all  matters  connected 
with  military  and  naval  affairs,  agriculture,  finance,  art,  and 
science — everything  came  alike  to  him."  He  was  born  in 
J  760,  and  was  many  years  a  drysalter  at  Queenhithe,  but 
about  1 8 10  he  lost  a  large  sum  of  money  by  a  speculation  in 
indigo;  after  which  he  retired,  upon  the  remains  of  his 
property,  to  chambers  in  the  Adelphi.    While  at  Queen- 

Q 


226  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

hithe,  Jie  found  leisure  to  make'  a  fine  coUeiction  of  old 
books,  chiefly  old  poetry,  which  were  valued  at  six  thousand 
pounds.  He  greatly  assisted' two  friendless  poets,  Bloom^ 
field  and  Kirke  White ;  he  also  established  The  Monthly 
Mirror,  which  brought,  hirn  much  into  connexion '  with 
dramatic  poets,  actors,  and  managers,  when  he  collected 
theatrical  curiosities  and  relics.  Hill  was  the  Hull  ol 
Hook's  clever  novel,  "  Gilbert  Gurney,"  and  the  reputed, 
original  of  Paul  Pry,  though,  the  latter  is  doubtful.  The 
standard  joke  about  him  was  his  age.  He  died  in  1841,  in 
his  eighty-first  year,  though  Hook  and  all  his  friends  always 
affected  to  consider  him  as  quite  a  Methuselah.  James 
Smith  once  said  that  it  was  impossible  to  discover  his  age, 
for  the  parish  register  had  been  burnt  in  the  fire  of  London ; 
but  Hook  capped  this: — ^^  Pooh,  pooh  I — (Tom's  habitual 
exclamation) — he's  one  of  the  Little  HiUs  that  are  spoken 
of  as  skipping  in  the  Psalms."  As  a  mere  octogenarian  he 
was  wonderful  enough.  No  human  being  would,  from  his 
appearance,  gait,  or  habits,  would  have  guessed  him  to  be 
sixty.  Till  within  three  months  of  his  death,  Hill  rose  at 
five  usually,  and  brought  the  materials  of  his  breakfast  home 
with  him  to  the  Adelphi  from  a  walk  to  Billingsgate  ;  and  at 
dinner  he  would  eat  and  drink  like  an  adjutant -of  fiveTand- 
twenty:  One  secret  was,  that  a  "  banyan-day "  uniformly 
followed  a  festivity.  He  then  nursed  himself  most  carefully 
on  tea  and  dry  toast,  tasted  neither  meat  nor  wine,  and  went 
to  bed  by  eight  o'clock.  But  perhaps  the  grand  secret  was, 
the  easy,  imperturbable  serenity  of  his  temper.  .He  had 
been  kind  and  generous  in  die  day  of  his  wealth ;  and 
though  his  evening  was  comparatively  poor,  his  cheerful 
heart  kept  its  even  beat.  > 

Hill  was  a  patierit  collector  throughout  his  long  life.  His 
old  English  pofetry,  which  Southey  considered  the  rarest 
assemblage  in  existence^  was  dispersed  in  1810  jaild,  after 
Hill's  jdeath,  his  literary  rarities  and  memorials  occupied 
Evans,  of  Pall  Mall,  a  clear  week  to  sell  by  auction:  the 


THE  REFORM  CLUB.  zzj 

autograph  letters  were  very  interesting,  and  among' the 
hiemorials  were  Garrick's  Shakspfiare  Cup  and  a  vase  curved 
from  the  Bard's  mulberry-tree ;  and  a  block  of  wood  from 
Pope's  willow,  at  Twickenham. 

Albert  Smith  was  also  of  the  Garrick,  and  usually  dined 
here  before  commencing  his  evening  entertainments  at  the 
Egyptian  Hall,  in  Piccadilly. 

Smith  was  very  clubbable,  and  with  benevolent  aims  : 
he  was  a  leader  of  the  Fielding  Club,  in  Maiden-lane, 
Covent  Garden,  which  gave  several  amateur  theatrical 
representations  towards  the  establishment  of  "  a  Fund  for 
the  immediate  relief  of  emergencies  in  the  Literary  or 
Theatrical  world ;"  having  already  devoted  a  considerable 
sum  to  charitable  piuposes.  This  plan  of  relieving  the 
woes  of  others  through  our  own  pleasures  is  a  touch  of 
nature  which  yields  twofold  gratification. 

The  Reform  Club. 

This  political  Club  was  established  by  Liberal  Members 
of  the  two  Houses  of  Parliament,  to  aid  the  carrying  of  the 
Reform  Bill,  1 830-1 83  z.  It  was  temporarily  located  in  Great 
George-street,  and  Gwydyr  House,  Whitehall,  until  towards 
the  close  of  1837,  when  designs  for  a  new  Club-house  were 
submitted  by  the  architects,  Blore,  Basevi,  Cockerell, 
Sydney  SmirkCj  and  Barry.  The  design  of'  the  latter  was 
preferred,  and  the  site  selected  in  Pall  Mall,  extending  from 
the  spot  formerly  occupied  by  the  temporary  National 
Gallery. (late  the  residence  of  Sir  Walter  Stirling),  on  one 
side  of  the  temporary  Reform  Club-house,  over,  the  vacant 
plot  of  ground  oh  the  other  side.  The  instructions  were  to 
produce  I  a  Club-house  which  would  surpass  all  others  in  size 
and  magnificence;  one  which  should  combine  all  the 
attractions  of  other  Clubs,  such  as  baths,  billiard-rooms, 
smoking-rooms,  with  the  ordinary  accommodations ;  besides 
the  additional  novelty  of  private  chambers,  or  dormitories. 
Q  2 


228  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

The  frontage  towards  Pall  Mall  is  about  135  feet,  or  nearly 
equal  to  the  frontage  of  the  Athenaeum  (76  feet)  and  the 
Travellers'  (74  feet);  The  style  of  the  Reform  is  pure 
Italian,  the  architect  having  taken  some  points  from  the 
celebrated  Famese  Palace  at  Rome,  designed  by  Michael 
Angelo  Buonarroti,  in  1545,  and  built  by  Antonio  Sangallo; 
However,  the  resemblance  between  the  two  edifices  has 
been  greatly  overstated,  it  consisting  only  in  both  of  them 
being  astylar,  with  columnar-decorated  fenestration.  The 
exterior  is  greatly  admired ;  though  it  is  objected,  and  with 
reason,  that  the  windows  are  too  small.  The  Club-house 
contains  six  floors  and  134  apartments  :  the  basement  and 
mezzanine  below  the  street  pavement,  and  the  chambers 
in  the  roof  are  not  seen. 

The  points  most  admired  are  extreme  simplicity  and  unity 
of  design,  combined  with  very  unusual  richness.  The 
breadth  of  the  piers  between  the  windows  contributes  not  a 
little  to  that  repose  which  is  so  essential  to  simplicity,  and 
hardly  less  so  to  stateliness.  The  string-courses  are  par- 
ticularly beautiful,  while  the  cornicione  (68  feet  from  the 
pavement)  gives  extraordinary  majesty  and  grandeur  to  the 
whole.  The  roof  is  covered  with  Italian  tiles  ;  the  edifice 
is  faced  throughout  with  Portland  stone,  and  is  a  very  fine 
specimen  of  masonry.  In  building  it  a  strong  scaffolding 
was  constructed,  and  on  the  top  was  laid  a  railway,  upon 
which  was  worked  a  traversing  crane,  movable  along  the 
building  either  longitudinally  or  transversely;  by  which 
means  the  stones  were  raised  from  the  ground,  and  placed 
on  the  wall  with  very  little  labour  to  the  mason,  who  had 
only  to  adjust  the  bed  and  lay  the  block.* 

In  the  centre  of  the  interior  is  a  grand  hall,  56ft.  by  50, 
(the  entire  height  of  the  building,)  resembling  an  Italian 
cortile,  surrounded  by  colonnades,  below  Ionic,  and  above 
Corinthian  ;  the  latter  is  a  picture-gallery,  where,  inserted  in 


Civil  En^neer  and  Architects'  yoiirnal,  184^, 


THE  REFORM  CLUB.  229 

the^  scagliola  walls,  are  whole-length  portraits  of  emment 
political  Reformers ;  while  the  upper  colonnadehas  rich  floral 
mouldings,  and  frescoes  of  Music,  Poetry,  Painting,  and 
Sculpture,  by  Parris.  The  floor  of  the  hall  is  tessellated ; 
and  the  entire  roof  is  strong  diapered  flint-glass,  executed 
by  Pellatt,  at  the  cost  of  600/.  The  staircase,  like  that  of  an 
Italian  palace,  leads  to  the  upper  gallery  of  the  hall,  opening 
into  the  principal  drawing-room,  which  is  over  the  coffee- 
room  in  the  garden-front,  both  being  the  entire  length  of 
the  building ;  adjoining  are  a  library,  card-room,  etc.,  over 
the  library  and  dining-rooms.  Above  are  a  billiard-room 
and  lodging-rooms  for  members  of  the  Club ;  there  being  a 
separate  entrance  to  the  latter  by  a  lodge  adjoining  the 
Travellers'  Club-house. 

The  basement  comprises  two-storied  wine-cellars  beneath 
the  hall ;  besides  the  kitchen  department,  planned  by  Alexis 
Soyer,  originally  chef-de-cuisine  of  the  Club  :  it  contains  novel 
employments  of  steam  and  gas,  and  mechanical  applications 
of  practical  ingenuity ;  the  inspection  of  which  was  long  one 
of  the  privileged  sights  of  London.  The  cuisine,  under 
M.  Soyer,  enjoyed  European  fame.  Soyer  first  came  to 
England  on  a  visit  to  his  brother,  who  vras  then  cook  to  the 
Duke  of  Cambridge ;  and  at  Cambridge  House,  Alexis 
cooked  his  first  dinner  in  England,  for  the  then  Prince 
George.  Soyer  afterwards  entered  the  service  of  various 
noblemen,  amongst  others  of  Lord  Ailsa,  Lord  Panmure, 
etc.  He  then  entered  into  the  service  of  the  Reform  Club', 
and  the  breakfast  given  by  that  Club  on  the  occasion  of  the 
Queen's  Coronation  obtained  him  high  commendation.  His 
ingenuity  gave  a  sort  of  celebrity  to  the  great  political  ban- 
quets given  at  the  Reform.  In  his  O'Connell  dinner,  the 
soufflts  d,  la  Clontarf  wreiQ  considered  by  gastronomes  to  be 
a  rich  bit  of  satire.  The  banquet  to  Ibrahim  Pacha,  July  3, 
1846,  was  another  of  Soyer's  great  successes,  when  Merlans 
a  I'Egyptienne,  la  Creme  d'Egypte  and  \  I'Ibrahim  Pacha, 
mingled  with  Le  Gateau  Britannique  k  I'Amiral  (Napier). 


230  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

Another  famous  banquet  was  that  given  to  Sir  C.  Napier, 
March  3,  1854,  as  Commander  of  the  Baltic  Fleet;  and.the 
banquet  given  July  20,  1850,  to  Viscount  Palmerston,  who 
was  a  popular  leader  of  the  Reform,  was,  gastronomically  as 
well  as  politically,  a  brilliant  triumph.  It  was  upon  this 
memorable  occasion  that  Mr,  Bernal  Osborne  characterized 
the  Palmerston  policy  in  this  quotation  : — 

Warmed  by  the  instincts  of  a  knightly  heart, 
That  roused  at  once  if  insult  touched  the  realm. 

He  spumed  each  State-craft,  each  deceiving  art, 
And  met  his  foes  no  vizor  to  his  helm. 

This  proved  his  worth,  hereafter  be  our  boast — 
Who  hated  Britons,  hated  him  the  most. 

Lord  Palmerston  was  too  true  an  Englishman  to  be  in- 
sensible to  "  the  pleasures,  of  the  table,"  as  attested  by  the 
hospitahties  of  Cambridge  House,  during  his  administration. 
One  of  his  Lordship's  political  opponents,  writing  in  1836, 
says:  "Lord  Palmerston  is  redeemed  from  the  last  extremity 
of  political  degradation  by  his  cook."  A  distinguished 
member  of  the  diplomatic  body  was  once  overheard-  re- 
marking to  an  Austrian  nobleman  upon  the  Minister's  short- 
comings in  some  respects,  adding,  "  mais  on  dine  fort  bien 
chez  lui." 

It  is  always  interesting  to  read  a  foreigner's  opinion  of 
English  society.  The  following  observations,  by  the  Vis- 
countess de  Malleville,  appeared  originally  in  the  Courrier 
de  r Europe,  and  preceded  an  account  of  the  Reform.  Com- 
mencing with  Clubs,  the  writer  remarks  : 

"  It  cannot  be  denied  that  these  assemblages,  wealthy  and 
widely  extended  in  their  ramifications,  selfish  in  principle, 
but  perfectly  adapted  to  the  habits  of  the  nation,  oifer 
valuable  advantages  to  those  who  have  the  good  fortune  to 
be  enrolled  in  them.  ,  .  .  The  social  state  and  manners  of 
the  country  gave  the  first  idea  of  them.  The  spirit  of  associa- 
tion which  is  so  inherent  in  the  British  character,  did  the 
rest.      It  is  only  within  the  precincts  of  these  splendid 


THE  REFORM  CLUB.  231 

edifices,  where  all  the  requirements  of  opulent  life,  all  the 
comforts  and  luxuries  of  princely  habitations,  are  combined, 
that  we  can  adequately  appreciate  the  advantages  and  the 
complicated -results  produced  by  such  a  system  of  associa- 
tion. For  an  annual  subscription,  comparatively  of  small 
amount,  every  member  of  a  Club  is  admitted  into  a  circle, 
which  is  enlivened  and  renewed  from  time  to  time  by  the 
accession  of  strangers  of  distinction.  A  well-selected  and 
extensive  library,  newspapers  and  pamphlets  from  all  parts 
of  the  world,  assist  him  to  pass  the  hours  of  leisure  and 
digestion.  According  as  his  tastes  incline,  a  man  may 
amuse  himself  in  the  saloons  devoted  to  play,  to  reading,  or 
to  conversation.  In  a  word,  the  happy  man,  who  only  goes 
to  get  bis  dinner,  may  drink  the  best  wines  out  of  the  finest 
cut-glass,  and  may  eat  the  daintiest  and  best-cooked  viands 
ofi"  the  most  costly  plate,  at  such  moderate  prices  as  no 
Parisian  restaiirateur  could  afford.  The  advantages  of  a 
Club  do  not  end  here :  it  becomes  for  each  of  its  members 
a  second  dcwnestic  hearth,  where  the  cares  of  business  and 
household  annoyances  cannot  assail  him.  As  a  retreat 
especially  sacred  against  the  visitations  of  idle  acquaintances 
and  tiresome  creditors — a  sanctuary  in  which  each  member 
feels  himself  in  the  society  of  those  who  act  and  sympathize 
with  him— the  Club  will  ever  remain  a  resort,  tranquil, 
elegant,  and  exclusive ;  interdicted  to  the  humble  and  to  the 
insignificant." 

The  writer  then  proceeds  to  illustrate  the  sumptuous 
character  of  our  new  Club-houses  by  reference  to  the  Reform. 
"  Unlike  in  most  English  buildings,  the  staircase  is  wide  and 
commodious,  and  calls  to  mind  that  of  the  Louvre.  The 
quadrangular  apartment  which  terminates  it,  is  surrounded 
by  spacious  galleries  ;  the  rich  mosaic  pavement,  in  which 
the  brilliancy  of  the  colour  is  only  surpassed  by  the  variety 
of  the  design — the  cut-glass  ceiling,  supported  by  four  rows 
of  marble  pillars — all  these  things  call  to  remembrance  the 
most  magnificent  apartments  of  Versailles  in  the  days  of  the 


232  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

great  king  and  his  splendours.  This  is  the  vestibule,  which 
is  the  grand  feature  of  the  mansion."  The  kitchen  is  then 
described — "spacious  as  a  ball-room,  kept  in  the  finest 
order,  and  white  as  a  young  bride.  All-powerful  steam,  the 
noise  of  which  salutes  your  ear  as  you  enter,  here  per- 
forms a  variety  of  offices  :  it  diffuses  a  uniform  heat  to  large 
rows  of  dishes,  warms  the  metal  plates  upon  which  are  dis- 
posed the  dishes  that  have  been  called  for,  and  that  are  in 
waiting  to  be  sent  above  :  it  turns  the  spits,  draws  the  water, 
carries  up  the  coal,  and  moves  the  plate  like  an  intelligent 
and  indefatigable  servant.  Stay  awhile  before  this  octagonal 
apparatus,  which  occupies  the  centre  of  the  place.  Around 
you  the  water  boils  and  the  stew-pans  bubble,  and  a  little 
further  on  is  a  movable  furnace,  before  which  pieces  of 
meat  are  converted  into  savoury  rdtis;  here  are  sauces  and 
gravies,  stews,  broths,  soups,  etc.  In  the  distance  are  Dutch 
ovens,  marble  mortars,  lighted  stoves,  iced  plates  of  metal 
for  fish ;  and  various  compartments  for  vegetables,  fruits, 
roots,  and  spices.  After  this  inadequate,  though  prodigious 
nomenclature,  the  reader  may  perhaps  picture  to  himself  a 
state  of  general  confusion,  a  disordered  assemblage,  re- 
sembling that  of  a  heap  of  oyster-shells.  If  so,  he  is  mis- 
taken ;  for,  in  fact,  you  see  very  little,  or  scarcely  anything 
of  all  the  objects  above  described.  The  order  of  their 
arrangement  is  so  perfect,  their  distribution  as  a  whole,  and 
in  their  relative  bearings  to  one  another,  are  all  so  intelli- 
gently considered,  that  you  require  the  aid  of  a  guide  to 
direct  you  in  exploring  them,  and  a  good  deal  of  time  to 
classify  in  your  mind  all  your  discoveries. 

"  Let  all  strangers  who  come  to  London  for  business,  or 
pleasure,  or  curiosity,  or  for  whatever  cause,  not  fail  to  visit 
the  Reform  Club.  In  an  age  of  utilitarianism,  and  of  the 
search  for  the  comfortable,  like  ours,  there  is  more  to  be 
learned  here  than  in  the  ruins  of  the  Coliseum,  of  the 
Parthenon,  or  of  Memphis." 


233 


The  Carlton  Club. 

The  Carlton  is  purely  a  political  Club,  and  was  founded 
by  the  great  Duke  of  Wellington,  and  a  few  of  his  most 
intimate  political  friends.  It  held  its  first  meeting  in 
Charles-street,  St.  James's,  in  the  year  1831.  In  the  follow- 
ing year  it  removed  to  larger  premises,  Lord  Kensington's, 
in  Carlton  Gardens.  In  1836,  an  entirely  new  house  was 
built  for  the  Club,  in  Pail-Mall,  by  Sir  Robert  Smirke,  R.A. : 
it  was  of  small  extent,  and  plain  and  inexpensive.  As  the 
Club  grew  in  numbers  and  importance,  the  building  became 
inadequate  to  its  wants.  In  1846,  a  very  large  addition  was 
made  to  it  by  Mr.  Sydney  Smirke;  and  in  1854,  the  whole 
of  the  original  ediiice  was  taken  down,  and  rebuilt  by  Mr. 
Smirke,  upon  a  sumptuous  scale  j  and  it  will  be  the  largest, 
though  not  the  most  costly  Club-house,  in  the  metropolis. 
It  is  a  copy  of  Sansovino's  Library  of  St.  Mark,  at  Venice  : 
the  entablature  of  the  Ionic,  or  upper  order,  is  considerably 
more  ponderous  than  that  of  the  Doric  below,  which  is  an 
unorthodox  defect.  The  faQade  is  highly  enriched,  and 
exhibits  a  novelty,  in  the  shafts  of  all  the  columns  being  e£ 
red  Peterhead  granite,  highly  polished,  which,  in  contrast 
with  the  dead  stone,  is  objectionable  :  "  cloth  of  frieze  and 
cloth  of  gold  "  do  not  wear  well  together.  In  the  garden 
front  the  pilasters,  which  take  the  place  of  columns  in  the 
entrance  front  and  flank,  are  of  the  same  material  as  the 
latter,  namely,  Peterhead  granite,  polished.  Many  predic- 
tions were  at  first  ventured  upon  as  to  the  perishable  nature 
of  the  lustre  of  the  polished  granite  shafts  ;  but  these  pre- 
dictions have  been  falsified  by  time ;  nine  years'  exposure 
having  produced  no  effect  whatever  on  the  polished  surface. 
Probably  the  polish  itself  is  the  protection  of  the  granite, 
by  preventing  moisture  from  hanging  on  the  surface. 

The  Carlton  contains  Conservatives  of  every  hue,  from 
the  good  old-fashioned  Tory  to  the  liberal  progressist  of  the 


234  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDUiV. 

latest  movements, — ^men  of  high  position  in  fortune  and 
politics. 

Some  thirty  years  ago,  a  Qtiarterly  reviewer  wrote :  "  The 
improvement  and  multiplication  of  Clubs  is  the  grand 
feature  of  metropolitan  progress.  There  are  between  twenty 
and  thirty  of  these  admirable  establishments,  at  which  a 
man  of  moderate  habits  can  dine  more  comfortably  for  three 
or  four  shillings  (including  half  a  pint  of  wine),  than  he 
could  have  dined  for  four  or  five  times  that  amount  at  the 
coffee-houses  and  hotels,  which  were  the  habitual  resort  of 
the  bachelor  class  in  the  coixesponding  rank  of  life  during 
the  first  quarter  of  the  century.  At  some  of  the  Clubs — the 
Travellers',  tlie  Coventry,  and  the  Carlton,  for  example — 
the  most  finished  luxury  may  be  enjoyed  at  a  very  mode- 
rate cost  .  The  best  judges  are  agreed  that  it  is  utterly 
impossible  to  dine  better  than  at  the  Carlton,  when  the  cook 
has  fair  notice,  and  is  not 'hurried,  or  confused  by  a  multi- 
tude of  orders.  But  great  allowances  must  be  made  when 
a  simultaneous  rush  occurs  from  both  Houses  of  Parliament; 
and  the  caprices  of  individual  members  of  such  institutions 
are  sometimes  extremely  trying  to  the  temper  and  reputation 
of  a  chef." 

The  Conservative  Club. 

This  handsome  Club-house,  which  occupies  a  portion  of 
the  site  of  the  old  Thatched  House  Tavern,  74,  St.  James's- 
street,  was  designed  by  Sydney  Smirke  and  George  Basevi, 
1845.  The  upper  portion  is  Corinthian,  with  columns  and 
pilasters,  and  a  frieze  sculptured  with  the  imperial  crown 
and  oak-wreaths ;  the  lower  order  is  Roman-Doric ;  and  the 
wings  are  slightly  advanced,  with  an  enriched  entrance- 
porch  north,  and  a  bay-window  south.  The  interior  was 
superbly  decorated  in  colour  by  Sang :  the  coved  hall,  with 
a  gallery  round  it,  and  the  domed  vestibule  above  it,  is  a 
fine  specimen  of  German  encaustic  embellishment,  in  the 
arches,  soffites,  spandrels,  and  ceilings ;  and  the  hall-floor  is 


THE  CONSERVATIVE  CLUB.  235 

tessellated,  around  a  noble  star  of  marqueterie.  The  even- 
ing room,  on  the  first  floor,  has  an  enriched  coved  ceiling, 
and  a  beautiful  frieze  of  the  rose,  shamrock,  and  thistle, 
supported  by  scagliola  Corinthian  columns:  the  morning 
room,  beneath,  is  of  the  same  dimensions,  with  Ionic  pillars. 
The  library,  in  the  upper  story  north,  has  columns  and 
pilasters  with  bronzed  capitals.  Beneath  is  the  coffee-room. 
Tlie  kitchen  is  far  more  spacious  than  that  of  the  Reform 
Club.  In  the  right  wing  is  a  large  bay-window,  whicli  was 
introduced  as  an  essential  to  the  morning  room,  affording 
the  lounger  a  view  of  Pall  Mall  and  St.  James's-street,  and 
the  Palace  gateway  -,  this  introduction  reminding  us,  by  the 
way,  of  Theodore  Hook's  oddly  comparing  the  bay-window 
of  a  coffee-house  nearly  on  the  same  spot,  to  an  obese  old 
gentleman  in  a  white  waistcoat.  Hook  lived  for  some  time 
in  Cleveland-row  :  he  used  to  describe  ^e^  real  London  as 
the  space  between  Pall  Mall  on  the  south,  Piccadilly  north, 
St.  James's  west,  and  the  Opera-house  east. 

This  is  the  second  Club  of  the  Conservative  party,  and 
many  of  its  chiefs  are  honorary  members,  but  rarely  enter 
it :  Sir-Robert  Peel  is  said  never  to  have  entered  this  Club- 
house except  to  view  the  interior.  Other  leaders  have, 
however,  availed  themselves  of  the  Club  influences  to  recruit 
their  ranks  from  its  working  strength.  This  has  been 
political  ground  for  a  century  and  a  half;  for  here,  at  the 
Thatched  House  Tavern,  Swift  met  his  political  Clubs,  and 
dined  with  Tory  magnates ;  but  with  fewer  appliances  than 
in  the  present  day ;  in  Swift's  time  "  the  wine  being  always 
brought  by  him  that  is  president."* 


*  The  Palace  clock  has  connected  with  it  an  odd  anecdote,  which 
we  received  from  Mr.  Vulliamy,  of  Pall  Mall,  who,  with  his  family,  as 
predecessors,  had  been  the  royal  clockmakers  since  1743.  When  the 
Palace  Gate-house  was  repaired,  in  1831,  the  clock  was  removed,  and 
not  put  up  again.  The  inhabitants  of  the  neighbourhood,  mlissing  the 
clock,  memorialized  William   IV.   for  the  replacement  of  the  time- 


236 


The  Oxford  and  Cambridge  Club. 

The  Oxford  and  Cambridge  Club-house,  71,  Pall  Mal^ 
for  members  of  the  two  Universities,  was  designed  by 
Sir  Robert  Smirke,  R.A.,  and  his  brother,  Mr.  Sydney 
Smirke,  1835-8.  The  Pall  Mall  fagade  is  80  feet  in  width 
by  75  in  height,  and  the  rear  lies  over-against  the  court  of 
Marlborough  House.  The  ornamental  detail  is  very  rich  : 
as  the  entrance-portico,  with  Corinthian  columns  ;  the  bal- 
cony, with  its  panels  of  metal  foliage ;  and  the  ground-storey 
frieze,  and  arms  of  Oxford  and  Cambridge  Universities 
over  the  portico  columns.  The  upper  part  of  the  build- 
ing has  a  delicate  Corinthian  entablature  and  balustrade; 
and  above  the  principal  windows  are  bas-reliefs  in  panels, 
executed  in  cement  by  Nicholl,  from  designs  by  Sir  R. 
Smirke,  as  follows: — Centre  panel:  Minerva  and  Apollo 
presiding  on  Mount  Parnassus ;  and  the  River  Helicon, 
surrounded  by  the  Muses.  Extreme  panels  :  Homer  singing 
to  a  warrior,  a  female  and  a  youth;  Virgil  singing  his 
Georgics  to  a  group  of  peasants.  Other  four  panels  :  Milton 
reciting  to  his  daughter ;  Shakspeare  attended  by  Tragedy 
and  Comedy;  Newton  explaining  his  system ;  Bacon,  his 
philosophy.  Beneath  the  ground-floor  is  a  basement  of 
offices,  and  an  entresol  or  mezzanine  of  chambers.  The 
principal  apartments  are  tastefully  decorated  ;  the  drawing- 
room  is  panelled  with  papier  m&cM ;  and  the  libraries  are 
filled  with  book-cases  of  beautifully  marked  Russian  birch- 


keeper,  when  the  King  inquired  why  it  was  not  restored  ;  the  reply 
was  that  the  roof  was  reported  unsafe  to  carry  the  weight,  which  His 
Majesty  having  ascertained,  he  shrewdly  demanded  how,  if  the  roof 
were  not  strong  enough  to  carry  the  clock,  it  was  safe  for  the  number  of 
persons  occasionally  seen  upon  it  to  witness  processions,  and  the  com- 
pany on  drawing-room  days?  There  was  no  questioning  the  calcula- 
tion ;  the  clock  was  forthwith  replaced,  and  a  minute-hand  was  added, 
with  new  dials.     ("  Curiosities  of  London,"  p.  571.) 


THE  GUARDS  CLUB.  237 

wood.  From  the  back  library  is  a  view  of  Marlborough 
House  and  its  gardens. 

The  Guards  Club 

Was  formerly  housed  in  St.  James's-street,  next  Crockford's, 
north;  but,  in  1850,  they  removed  to  Pall  Mall,  (No.  70.) 
The  new  Club-house  was  designed  for  them  by  Henry 
Harrison,  and  remarkable  for  its  compactness  and  con- 
venience, although  its  size  and  external  appearance  indicate 
no  more  than  a  private  house.  The  architect  has  adopted 
some  portion  of  a  design  of  Sansovino's  in  the  lower  part  or 
basement. 

The  Army  and  Navy  Club. 

The  Army  and  Navy  Club-house,  Pall  Mall,  corner  of 
George-street,  designed  by  Pamell  and  Smith,  was  opened 
February,  1851.  The  exterior  is  a  combination  from  San- 
sovino's Palazzo  Cornaro,  and  Library  of  St.  Mark  at 
Venice ;  but  varying  in  the  upper  part,  which  has  Corinthian 
columns,  with  windows  resembling  arcades  filling  up  the 
intercolumns  ;  and  over  their  arched  headings  are  groups  of 
naval  and  military  symbols,  weapons,  and  defensive  armour 
— ^very  picturesque.  The  frieze  has  also  effective  groups 
symbolic  of  the  Army  and  Navy ;  the  cornice,  likewise  very 
bold,  is  crowned  by  a  massive  balustrade.  The  basement, 
from  the  Cornaro,  is  rusticated ;  the  entrance  being  in  the 
centre  of  the  east  or  George-stroet  front,  by  three  open  arches, 
similar  in  character  to  those  in  the  Strand  front  of  Somerset 
House  ;  the  whole  is  extremely  rich  in  ornamental  detail. 
The  hall  is  fine ;  the  coffee-room  is  panelled  with  scaghola, 
and  has  a  ceiling  enriched  with  flowers,  and  pierced  for  ven- 
tilation by  heated  flues  above ;  adjoining  is  a  room  lighted 
by  a  glazed  plafond  j  next  is  the  house  dining-room,  deco- 
rated in  the  Munich  style ;  and  more  superb  is  the  morning- 
room,  with  its  arched  windows,  and  mirrors  forming  arcades 


238  CZ  UB  LIFE  OF  L  ONDVJsr. 

and  VistaS' inilumerable.  A  ihagiiificent  stone  staircase 
leads  to  the  library  and  reading-rooms';  and  in  the  third 
storey  are  billiard  and  card  rooms ;  and  a  smoking-room  with 
a  lofty  dome  elaborately  decorated  in  traceried  Moresque. 
The  apartments  are  adorned  with  an  equestrian  por- 
trait of  Queen  Victoria,  painted  by  Grant,  R.A. ;  a  piece  ot 
Gobelin  tapestry  (Sacrifice  to  Diana),  presented  to  the  Club 
in  1849  by  Prince  Louis  Napoleon;  marble  busts  of  Wil- 
liam IV.  and  the  Dukes  of  Kent  and  Cambridge;  and 
several  life-size  portraits  of  naval  and  military  heroes.  The 
Cliib-house  is  provided  with  twenty  lines  of  Whishaw's 
Telekouphona,  or  Speaking  Telegraph,  which  communicate 
from  the  Secretary's  room  to  the  various  apartments.  The 
cost  of  this  superb  edifice,  exclusive  of  fittings,  was  35,000/. ; 
the  plot  of  ground  on  which  it  stands  cost  the  Club 
52,000/. 

The  Club  system  has  added  several  noble  specimens  of 
ornate  architecture  to  the  metropolis ;  to  the  south  side  of 
Pall  Mall  these  fine  edifices  have  given  a  truly  patrician  air. 
But,  it  is  remarkable  that  while  both  parties  political  have 
contributed  magnificent  edifices  towards  the  metropolis  and 
their  opinions ;  while  the  Conservatives  can  show  with  pride 
two  splendid  piles,  and  the  Liberals  at  least  one  handsome 
one;  while  the  Army  and  Navy  have  recently  a  third  palace — 
the  most  successful  of  the  three  they  can  boast ;  while '  the 
Universities,  the '  sciences,  even  our  Lidian  empire,  come 
forward,  the  fashionable  clubs,  the  aristocratic  clubs,  do 
nothing  for  the  general  aspett  of  London,  and  have  made 
no  move  in  a  direciiOn  where  they  ought  to  have  been  first. 
Can  anything  be  more  paltry  than  that  bay-window  from 
which  the  members  of  White's  contemplate  the  cabstand 
and  the  Welliiigton  Tavern  ?  and  yet  a  little  management 
migfht  make  that  house  worthy  of  its  unparalleled  situation; 
and  if  it  were  extended  to  Piccadilly,  it  would  be  the  finest 
thing  of  its  kind  in  Europe. 


239 


The  Junior  United  Service  Club, 

At  the  comer  of  Charles-street  and  Regentstreet,  was 
erected  in  1855-57,  Nelson  and  James,  architects,  and  has 
a  most  embellished  exterior,  enriched  with  characteristic 
sculpture  by  John  Thomas.  The  design  is  described  in  the 
Builder  as  in  the  Italian  style  of  architecture,  the  bay- 
window  in  Regent-street  forming  a  prominent  feature  in  the 
composition,  above  which  is  a  sculptured  group  allegorical 
of  the  Army  and  Navy.  The  whole  of  the  sculpture  and 
ornamental  details  throughout  the  building  are  characteristic 
of  the  profession  of  the  members  of  the  Club.  The  exterior 
of  the  building  is  surmounted  by  a  richly-sculptured  cornice, 
with  modillion  and  dentils,  and  beneath  it  an  elaborate  frieze, 
having  medallions  with  trophies  and  other  suitable  emblems, 
separated  from  each  other  by  the  rose,  shamrock,  and  thistle. 
The  external  walls  of  the  building  are  of  Bath  stone,  and 
the  balustrade  around  the  area  is  of  Portland  stone ;  and 
upon  the  angle-pieces  of  this  are  bronze  lamps,  supported 
by  figures.  The  staircase  is  lighted  from  the  top  by  a  hand- 
some, lantern,  filled  with  painted  glass,  with  an  elaborate 
coved  and  ornamented  ceiling  around.  On  the  landing  of 
the  half  space  are  two  pairs  of  caryatidal  figures,  and  single 
figures  against  the  walls,  supporting  three  semicircular  arches, 
and  the  whole  is  reflected  by  looking-glasses  on  the  landing. 
On  .  the  upper  landing  of  the  staircase  is  the  celebrated 
picture,  by  Allan,  of  the  Battle  of  Waterloo.  Upon  the  first 
floor  fironting  JRegent-street,  and  over  the  morning-room, 
and  of  the  same  dimensions,  is  the  evening-room,  which  is 
also  used  as  a  picture-gallery,  24  feet  high,  with  a  bay- 
window  fronting  Regent-street.  In  the  gallery  are  portraits 
of  military, and  naval  commanders;  Queen  Victoria  and 
Prince  Albert,  and  the  Emperor  Napoleon ;  and  an  alle- 
gorical group  in  silver,  presented  to  the  Club  by  his  Imperial 
Majesty. 


240 


Crockford's  Club. 

This  noted  gaming  Club-house,  No.  50,  on  the  west  side  of 
St.  James's-street,  over  against  White's,  was  built  for  Mr. 
Crockford,  in  1827  ;  B.  and  P.  Wyatt,  architects. 

Crockford  started  in  life  as  a  fishmonger,  at  the  old  bulk- 
shop  next-door  to  Temple  Bar  Without,  which  he  quitted 
for  play  in  St.  James's.  "  For  several  years  deep  play  went 
on  at  all  the  Clubs — ^fluctuating  both  as  to  locality  and 
amount — till  by  degrees  it  began  to  flag.  It  was  at  a  low 
ebb  when  Mr.  Crockford  laid  the  foundation  of  the  most 
colossal  fortune  that  was  ever  made  by  play.  He  began 
by  taking  Watier's  old  Club-house,  in  partnership  with  a 
man  named  Taylor.  They  set  up  a  hazard-bank,  and  won 
a  great  deal  of  money,  but  quarrelled  and  separated  at  the 
end  of  the  first  year.  Taylor  continued  where  he  was,  had 
a  bad  year,  and  failed.  Crockford  removed  to  St.  James's- 
street,  had  a  good  year,  and  immediately  set  about  building 
the  magnificent  Club-house  which  bears  his  name.  It  rose 
like  a  creation  of  Aladdin's  lamp ;  and  the  genii  themselves 
could  hardly  have  surpassed  the  beauty  of  the  internal  deco- 
rations, or  furnished  a  more  accomplished  moltre  d'hdtel'&iwi 
Ude.  To  make  the  company  as  select  as  possible,  the 
establishment  was  regularly  organized  as  a  Club,  and  the 
election  of  members  vested  in  a  committee.  '  Crockford's ' 
became  the  rage,  and  the  votaries  of  fashion,  whether  they 
liked  play  or  not,  hastened  to  enrol  themselves.  The  Duke 
of  Wellington  was  an  original  member,  though  (unlike 
Bliicher,  who  repeatedly  lost  everything  he  had  at  play) 
the  great  Captain  was  never  known  to  play  deep  at  any 
game  but  war  or  politics.  Card-tables  were  regularly 
placed,  and  whist  was  played  occasionally;  but  the  aim, 
end,  and  final  cause  of  the  whole  was  the  hazard-bank, 
at  which  the  proprietor  took  his  nightly  stand,  prepared 
for  all   comers.     Le    Wellington  des  Joueurs  lost  23,000/, 


Dolly, 

Mistress  of  "  Dolly's  Chop  House," 

St.  Paul's  Cliurcliyard,  1700. 


ir'  j_  rrrr 
frrf  rrn  Tr 
frrr  rrl-Lrrrr 


The  Rose,  Fenchurch  Street. 
{From  an  Original  Drawing  injhi  Kin^s  Library.) 


CROCKFORD-S  CLUB.  241 

at  a  sitting,  beginning  at  twelve  at  night,  and  ending  at 
seven  the  following  evening.  He  and  three  other  noble- 
men could  not  have  lost  less,  sooner  or  later,  than  100,000/. 
apiece.  Others  lost  in  proportion  (or  out  of  proportion)  to 
their  means  j  but  we  leave  it  to  less  occupied  moralists,  and 
better  calculators,  to  say  how  many  ruined  families  went  to 
make  Mr.  Crockford  a  millionnairc — for  a  millionnaire  he 
ft-as  in  the  English  sense  of  the  term,  after  making  the  largest 
possible  allowance  for  bad  debts.  A  vast  sum,  perhaps  half 
a  million,  was  sometimes  due  to  him  ;  but  as  he  won,  all  his 
debtors  were  able  to  raise,  and  easy  credit  was  the  most  fatal 
of  his  lures.  He  retired  in  1840,  much  as  an  Indian  chief 
retires  from  a  hunting  country  where  there  is  not  game  enough 
left  for  his  tribe,  and  the  Club  is  now  tottering  to  its  fall."* 
The  Club-house  consists  of  two  wings  and  a  centre,  with 
four  Corinthian  pilasters,  and  entablature,  and  a  balustrade 
throughout;  the  ground-floor  has  Venetian  wmdows,  and 
the  upper  story,  large  French  windows.  The  entrance-hall 
Iiad  a  screen  of  Roman-Ionic  scagliola  columns  with  gilt 
capitals,  and  a  cupola  of  gilding  and  stained  glass.  The 
library  has  Sienna  columns  and  antae  of  the  Ionic  order,  from 
the  Temple  of  Minerva  Polias;  the  staircase  is  panelled  with 
scagliola,  and  enriched  with  Corinthian  columns.  The 
grand  drawing-room  is  in  the  style  ot  Louis  Quatorze  :  azure 
ground,  with  elaborate  cove ;  ceiHng  enrichments  bronze 
gilt;  door-way  paintings  d,  la  Watteau;  and  panelling,  masks, 
terminals,  heavy  gilt.  Upon  the  opening  of  the  Club-house, 
it  was  described  in  the  exaggerated  style,  as  "  the  New  Pan- 
demonium J  the  drawing-rooms,  or  real  Hell,  consisting  of 
four  chambers ;  the  first  an  ante-room,  opening  to  a  salooii 
embellished  to  a  degree  which  baffles  description ;  thence 
to  a  small,  curiously-formed  cabinet,  or  boudoir,  which  opens 
to  the  supper-room.  All  these  rooms  are  panelled  in  the 
most  gorgeous  manner,  spaces  being  left  to  be  filled  up  with 


Edinburgh  Review, 


248  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

mirrors,  silk  or  gold  enrichments ;  the  ceilings  being  as 
superb  as  the  walls.  A  billiard-room  on  the  upper  floor 
completes  the  number  of  apartments  professedly  dedicated 
to  the  use  of  the  members.  Whenever  any  secret  manoeuvre 
is  to  be  cai-ried  on,  there  are  smaller  and  more  retired  places, 
both  under  this  roof  and  the  next,  whose  walls  will  tell  no 
tales." 

.  The  cuisine  at  Crockford's  was  of  the  highest  class,  and 
the  members  were  occasionally  very  exigeant,  and  trying 
to  the  patience  of  M.  Ude.  At  one  period  of  his  presidency, 
a  ground  of  complaint,  formally  addressed  to  the  Com- 
mittee, was  that  there  was  an  admixture  of  onion  in  the 
souUse.  Colonel  Damer,  happening  to  enter  Crockford's 
one  evening  to  dine  early,  found  Ude  walking  up  and  down 
in  a  towering  passion,  and  naturally  inquired  what  was  the 
matter.  "No  matter.  Monsieur  le  Colonel !  Did  you  see 
that  man  who  has  just  gone  out  ?  Well,  he  ordered  a  red 
mullet  for  his  dinner.  I  made  him  a  delicious  little  sauce 
withmy  own  hands.  The  price  of  the  mullet  marked  on  the 
carte  was  2s, ;  I  asked  dd.  for  the  sauce.  He  refuses  to  pay 
the  dd.  The  imb'ecile  apparently  believes  that  the  red 
mullets  come  out  of  the  sea  with  my  sauce  in  their  pockets !" 
The  imbkile  might  have  retorted  that  they  do  come  out  of 
the  sea  with  their  appropriate  sauce  in  their  pockets ;  but 
this  forms  no  excuse  for  damaging  the  consummate  genius  of 
a  Ude. 

The  appetites  of  some  Club  members  appear  to  entitle 
them  to  be  qz!^^  gourmands  rather  than\§»«mi?/.f.  Of  such 
a  member  of  Crockford's  the  following  traits  are  related  in 
the  Quarterly  Review,  No.  no: — "The  Lord-lieutenant 
of  one  of  the  western  counties  eats  a  covey  of  partridges  for 
breakfast  every  day  during  the  season;  and  there  is  a 
popular  M.P.  at  present  [1836]  about  town  who  would  eat  a 
covey  of  partridges,  as  the  Scotchman  ate  a  dozfen  of  beca- 
ficos,  for  a  whet,  and  feel  himself  astonished  if  his  appetite 
was  not  accelerated  by  the  circumstance.     Most  people 


CROCJCFORD'S  CLUB.  243 

must  have  seen  or  heard  of  a  caricature  representing  a 
gentleman  at  dinner  upon  a  round  of  beef,  with  the  landlord 
looking  on.  'Capital  beef,  landlord!'  says  the  gentleman; 
'  a  man  may  cut  and  come  again  here.'  'You  may  cut,  sir,' 
responds  Boniface;  'but  I'm  blow'dif  you  shall  come  again.' 
The  person  represented  is  the  M.P.  in  question;  and  the 
sketch  is  founded  upon  fact.  He  had  Occasion  to  stay  late 
in  the  City,  and  walked  into  the  celebrated  Old  Bailey  beef- 
shop  on  his  return,  where,  according  to  the  landlord's  com- 
putation, he  demolished  about  seven  pounds  and  a  half  of 
solid  meat,  uith  a  proportionate  allowance  of  greens.  His 
exploits  at  Crockford's  have  been  such,  that  the  founder  of 
that  singular  institution  has  more  than  once  had  serious 
thoughts  of  giving  him  a  guinea  to  sup  elsewhere :  and  has 
only  been  prevented  by  the  fear  of  meeting  with  a  rebuff 
similar  to  that  mentioned  in  'Roderick  Random'  as  received- 
by  the  master  of  an  ordinary,  who,  on  proposing  to  buy  off 
an  ugly  customer,  was  informed  by  him  that  he  had  already 
been  bought  off'  by  all  the  other  ordinaries  in  town,  and  was 
consequently  under  the  absolute  necessity  of  continuing  to 
patf6ni2ie  the  establishment" 

Theodore  Hook  was  a  frequent  visitor  at  Crockford's, 
where  play  did  not  begin  till  late.  Mr.  Barbara  describes 
him,  after  going  the  round  of  the  Clubs,  proposing,  with 
some  gay  companion,  to  finish  with  half-an-hour  at  Crock- 
ford's :  "  The  half-hour  is  quadrupled,  and  the  excitement  of 
the  preceding  evening  was  nothing  to  that  which  now 
ensued."  He  had  a  receipt  of  his  own  to  prevent  being 
exposed  to  the  night  air.  "I  was  very  ill,"  he  once  said, 
"  some  months  ago,  and  my  doctor  gave  me  particular  orders 
not  to  expose  niyself  to  it ;  so  I  come  up  [from  Fulham] 
eVery  day  to'Crbckford's,  or  some  other  place  to  dinner,  and 
I  make  it  a  rule  on  no  account  to  go  hoine  again  till  about 
four  or  five  o'clock' in  the  morning." 

After  Crockford's  dSath,*  the  Club-house  was  sold  by  his 
executors  for  2,900/:';  held  on  lease,  of  which  thirty-two 

R  a 


244  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

years  were  unexpired,  subject  to  a  yearly  rent  of  1,400/.  It 
is  said  that  the  decorations  alone  cost  94,000/.  The  in- 
terior was  re-decorated  in  1849,  and  opened  for  the  Military, 
Naval,  and  County  Service  Club,  but  was  closed  again  in 
1 85 1.  It  has  been,  for  several  years,  a  dining-house— "  the 
Wellington." 

Crockford's  old  bulk-shop,  west  of  Temple-bar,  was  taken 
down  in  1846.  It  is  engraved  in  "  Archer's  Vestiges  of 
London,"  part  i.  A  view  in  1795,  '^  ^^  Crowle  Pennant, 
presents  one  tall  gable  to  the  street ;  but  the  pitch  of  the 
roof  had  been  diminished  by  adding  two  imperfect  side 
gables.  The  heavy  pents  originally  traversed  over  each  of 
the  three  courses  of  windows  ;  it  was  a  mere  timber  frame, 
filled  up  with  lath  and  plaster,  the  beams  being  of  deal, 
with  short  oak  joints  :  it  presented  a  capital  example  of  the 
old  London  bulk-shop  (sixteenth  century),  with  a  heavy 
canopy  projecting  over  the  pathway,  and  turned  up  at  the 
rim  to  carry  off  the  rain  endwise.  This  shop  had  long  been 
held  by  a  succession  of  fishmongers ;  and  Crockford  would 
not  permit  the  house-front  to  be  altered  in  his  lifetime.  He 
was  known  in  gaming  circles  by  the  sobriquet  of  "the 
Fishmonger." 

'*  King  Allen,"  "  The  Golden  Ball,"  and  Scrope 
Davies, 

In  the  old  days  when  gaming  was  in  fashion,  at  Waller's 
Club,  princes  and  nobles  lost  or  gained  fortunes  between 
themselves.  It  was  the  same  at  Brookes's,  one  member  of 
which.  Lord  Robert  Spencer,  was  wise  enough  to  apply  wha) 
he  had  won  to  the  purchase  of  the  estate  of  Vfoolbidding, 
Suffolk.  Then  came  Crockford's  hell,  the  proprietor  of 
which,  a  man  who  had  begun  life  with  a  fish-basket,  won 
the  whole  of  the  ready  money  of  the  then  existing  genera- 
tion of  aristocratic  simpletons.  Among  the  men  who  most 
suffered  by  play  was  Viscount  Allen,  or  "  King  Allen,"  as 


"  KING  ALLEN"  "  GOLDEN  BALL,"  ETC.  245 

he  was  called.  This  efifeminate  dandy  had  fought  like  a 
young  lion  in  Spain ;  for  the  dandies,  foolish  as  they  looked, 
never  wanted  pluck.  The  "King"  then  lounged  about 
town,  grew  fat,  lost  his  all,  and  withdrew  to  Dublin,  where, 
in  Merrion-square,  he  slept  behind  a  large  brass  plate  with 
"  Viscount  Allen "  upon  it,  which  was  as  good  to  him  as 
board  wages,  for  it  brought  endless  invitations  from  people 
eager  to  feed  a  viscount  at  any  hour  of  the  day  or  night, 
although  "  King  Allen"  had  more  ready  ability  in  uttering 
disagreeable  than  witty  things. 

Very  rarely  indeed  did  any  of  the  ruined  gamesters  ever 
get  on  their  legs  again.  The  "  Golden  Ball,"  however,  was 
an  exception.  Ball  Hughes  fell  from  the  very  top  of  the 
gay  pagoda  into  the  mud,  but  even  there,  as  life  was  nothing 
to  him  without  the  old  excitement,  he  played  pitch  and  toss 
for  halfpence,  and  he  won  and  lost  small  ventures  at  battle- 
dore and  shuttlecock,  which  innocent  exercise  he  turned 
into  a  gambling  speculation.  After  he  withdrew,  in  very 
reduced  circumstances,  to  France,  his  once  mad  purchase 
of  Oatlands  suddenly  assumed  a  profitable  aspect.  The 
estate  was  touched  by  a  railway  and  admired  by  building 
speculators,  and  between  the  two  the  "  Ball,"  in  its  last  days, 
had  a  very  cheerful  and  glittering  aspect  indeed. 

Far  less  lucky  than  Hughes  was  Scrope  Davies,  whose 
name  was  once  so  familiar  to  every  man  and  boy  about 
town.  There  was  good  stuff  about  this  dandy.  He  one 
iiight  won  the  whole  fortune  of  an  aspiring  fast  lad  who  had 
come  of  age  the  week  before,  and  who  was  so  prostrated  by 
his  loss  that  kindly-hearted  Scrope  gave  back  the  fortune 
the  other  had  lost,  on  his  giving  his  word  of  honour  never 
to  play  again.  Davies  stuck  to  the  green  baize  till  his  own 
fortune  had  gone  among  a  score  of  less  compassionate 
gentlemen.  His  distressed  condition  was  made  known  to  the 
young  fellow  to  whom  he  had  formerly  acted  with  so  much 
generosity,  and  that  grateful  heir  refused  to  lend  him  even  a 
guinea.    Scrope  was  not  of  the  gentlemen-ruffians  of  the  day 


446  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

who  were  addicted  to  cruelly  assaulting  men  weaker  than 
themselves.  He  was  well-bred  and  a  scholar;  and  he  bore 
his  reverses  with  a  rare  philosophy.  His  home  was  on  a 
bench  in  the  Tuileries,  where  he  received  old  acquaintances 
who  visited  him  in  exile ;  but  he  admitted  only  very  tried 
friends  to  the  little  room  where  he  read  and  slept.  He  was 
famed  for  his  readiness  in  quoting  the  classical  poets,  and 
for  his  admiration  of  Moore,  in  whose  favour  those  quota- 
tions were  frequently  made.  They  were  often  most  happy. 
For  example,  he  translated  'Ubi//«ra  nitent  non  tgo  paucis 
ofifendar  maculis,'  by  '  Moore  shines  so  brightly  that  I  cannot 
Jind  fault  with  Little's  vagaries/'  He  also  rendered  'Ne 
plus  ultra,' '  Nothing  is  better  than  Moore  I'  "* 

The  Four-in-Hand  Club. 

Gentleman-coaching  has  scarcely  been  known  in  England 
seventy-five  years.  The  Anglo-Erich thonius,  the  Hon.  Charles 
Finch,  brother  to  the  Earl  of  Aylesford,  used  to  drive  his 
own  coach-and-four,  disguised  in  a  livery  great  coat.  Soon 
after  his  d3ut,  however,  the  celebrated  "  Tommy  Onslow," 
Sir  John  Lacy,  and  others,  mounted  the  box  in  their  own 
characters.  Sir  John  was  esteemed  a  renowned  judge  of 
coach-horses  and  carriages,  and  a  coachman  of  the  old 
school ;  but  everything  connected  with  the  coach-box  has 
undergone  such  a  change,  that  the  Nestors  of  the  art  are  no 
longer  to  be  quoted.  '  Among  the  celebrities  may  be  men- 
tioned the  "  B.  C.  D.,"  or  Benson  Driving  Club,  which  held 
its  rendezvous  at  the  "  Black  Dog,"  Bedfont,  as  one  of  the 
numerous  driving  associations,  whose  processions  used,  some 
forty  years  ago,  to  be  among  the  most  imposing,  as  well  as 
peculiar  spectacles  in  and  about  the  metropolis. 

On  the  stage,  the  gentlemen  drivers,  of  whom  the  mem- 
bers of  the  Four-in-Hand  Club  were  the  exclusive  Slite,  were 


?  Athenaum  review  of  "Captain  GronoVs  Anecdotes." 


THE  FOUR-IN-HAND  CLUB.  447 

illustrated  rather  than  caricatured  in  Goldfinch,  in  Holcroft's 
comedy  The  Read  to  Ruin.  Some  of  them  who  had  not 
"drags"  of  their  own,  "tipped"  a  weekly  allowance  to 
stage  coachmen,  to  allow  them  to  "  finger  the  ribbons,"  and 
"  tool  the  team."  Of  course,  they  frequently  "  spilt "  the 
passengers.  The  closeness  with  which  the  professional 
coachmen  were  imitated  by  the  "  bucks,"  is  shown  in  the 
case  of  Wealthy  young  Ackers,  who  had  one  of  his  front 
teeth  taken  out,  in  order  that  he  might  acquire  the  true 
coachman-like  way  of  "  spitting."  There  were  men  of 
brains,  nevertheless,  in  the  Four-in-Hand,  who  knew  how  to 
ridicule  such  fellow-members  as  Lord  Onslow,  whom  they 
thus  immortalized  in  an  epigram  of  that  day  : — 

What  can  Tommy  Onslow  do  ? 
He  can  drive  a  coach  and  two. 
Can  Tommy  Onslow  do  no  more  ? 
He  can  drive  a  coach  and  four. 

It  is  a  curious  fact,  that  the  fashion  of  amateur  cha- 
rioteering was  first  set  by  the  ladies.  Dr.  Young  has 
strikingly  sketched,  in  his  satires,  the  Delia  who  was  as 
good  a  coachman  as  the  man  she  paid  for  being  so : — 

Graceful  as  John,  she  moderates  the  reins, 
And  whistles  sweet  her  diuretic  strains. 

The  Four-in-Hand  combined  gastronomy  with  eques- 
trianism and  charioteering.  They  always  drove  out  of 
town  to  dinner,  and  the  ghost  of  Sgrope  Davies  will  pardon 
our  suggesting  that  the  club  of  drivers  and  diners  might 
well  have  taken  for  their  motto,  "  Quadrigis,  petimus  bene 
vivere  !  "* 

There    is    another    version  of  the    epigram    on    Torn 

Onslow : — 

Say,  what  can  Tommy  Onslow  do? 
Can  drive  a  curricle  and  two. 
Can  Tommy  Onslow  do  no  more  ? 
Yes, — drive  a  curricle  and  four. 


•  Athenaum,  No.  1739' 


248  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

This  is  the  version  current,  we  are  told,  among  Onslow's 
relations  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Guildford. 

Lord  Onslow's  celebrity  as  a  whip  long  preceded  the 
existence  of  the  Four-in-Hand  Club  (the  palmy  days  of 
which  belong  to  the  times  of  George  the  Fourth),  and  it 
was  not  a  coach,  but  a  phaeton,  that  he  drove.  A  corre- 
spondent of  the  AihencBum  writes  :  "I  knew  him  personally, 
in  my  own  boyhood,  in  Surrey,  in  the  first  years  of  the 
present  century  ;  and  I  remember  then  hearing  the  epigram 
now  referred  to,  not  as  new,  but  as  well  known,  in  the 
fallowing  form  : — 

What  can  little  T.  O.  do  ? 

Drive  a  phaeton  and  two. 

Can  little  T.  O.  do  no  more  ? 

Yes, — drive  a  phaeton  and  four. 

Tommy  Onslow  was  a  little  man,  full  of  life  and  oddities, 
one  of  which  was  a  fondness  for  driving  into  odd  places  ; 
and  I  remember  the  surprise  of  a  pic-nic  party,  which  he 
joined  in  a  secluded  spot,  driving  up  in  his  '  phaeton  and 
four '  through  ways  that  were  hardly  supposed  passable  by 
anything  beyond  a  flock  of  sheep.  An  earlier  exploit  of 
his  had  a  less  agreeable  termination.  He  was  once 
driving  through  Thames-street,  when  the  hook  of  a  crane, 
dangling  down  in  front  of  one  of  the  warehouses,  caught 
the  hood  of  the  phaeton,  tilting  him  out,  and  the  fall  broke 
his  collar-bone." 

The  vehicles  of  the  Club  which  were  formerly  used  are 
described  as  of  a  hybrid  class,  quite  as  elegant  as  private 
carriages  and  lighter  than  even  the  mails.  They  were  horsed 
with  the  finest  animals  that  money  could  secure.  In  general 
the  whole  four  in  each  carriage  were  admirably  matched ; 
grey  and  chestnut  were  the  favourite  colours,  but  occasion- 
ally very  black  horses,  or  such  as  were  freely  flecked  with 
white,  were  preferred.  The  master  generally  drove  the 
team,  often  a  nobleman  of  high  rank,  who  commonly  copied 
the  dress  of  a  mail  coachman.     The  company  usuftlly  rode 


THE  FOUR-IN-HAND  CLUB.  249 

outside,  but  two  footmen  in  rich  liveries  were  indispensable 
on  the  back  seat,  nor  was  it  at  all  uncommon  to  see  some 
splendidly-attired  female  on  the  box.  A  rule  of  the  Club 
■was  that  all  members  should  turn  out  three  times  a  week ; 
and  the  start  was  made  at  mid-day,  from  the  neighbourhood 
of  Piccadilly,  through  which  they  passed  to  the  Windsor- 
road, — the  attendants  of  each  carriage  playing  on  their 
silver  bugles.  From  twelve  to  twenty  of  these  handsome 
vehicles  often  left  London  together. 

There  remain  a  few  handsome  drags,  superbly  horsed. 
In  a  note  to  Nimrod's  life-like  sketch,  "  The  Road,"*  it  is 
stated  that  "only  ten  years  back,  there  were  from  thirty-four 
to  forty  four-in-hand  equipages  to  be  seen  constantly  about 
town." 

Nimrod  has  some  anecdotical  illustrations  of  the  taste  for 
the  whif,  which  has  undoubtedly  declined;  and  at  one 
time,  perhaps,  it  occupied  more  attention  among  the  higher 
classes  of  society  than  we  ever  wish  to  see  it  do  again. 
Yet,  taken  in  moderation,  we  can  perceive  no  reason  to 
condemn  this  branch  of  sport  more  than  others.  "If  so 
great  a  personage  as  Sophocles  could  think  it  fitting  to  dis- 
play his  science  in  public,  in  the  trifling  game  of  ball,  why 
may  not  an  English  gentleman  exercise  his  skill  on  a  coach- 
box? If  the  Athenians,  the  most  polished  nation  of  all 
antiquity,  deemed  it  an  honour  to  be  considered  skilful 
charioteers,  why  should  Englishmen  consider  it  a  disgrace  ? 
To  be  serious,  our  amateur  or  gaitlemen-coachmen  have  done 
much  good:  the  road  would  never  have  been  what  it  now 
is,  but  for  the  encouragement  they  gave  by  their  notice  and 
support  to  all  persons  connected  with  it.  Would  the 
Holyhead  road  have  been  what  it  is,  had  there  been  no 
such  persons  as  the  Hon.  Thomas  Kenyon,  Sir  Henry 
Pamell,  and  Mr.  Maddox  ?    Would  the  Oxford  coachmen 


*  Written,  it  must  be  recollected,  some  five-and-thirty  years  since. 
Reprinted  in  Murray's  "Reading  for  tlie  Rail." 


2SO  CLVB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

have  set  so  good  an  example  as  they  have  done  to  their 
brethren  of '  the  bench,'  had  there  been  no  such  men  oh 
their  road  as  Sir  Henry  Peyton,  Lord  Clonmel,  the  late  Sir 
Thomas  Mostyn;  that  Nestor  of  coachmen,  Mr.  Annesley; 
and  the  late  Mr.  Harrison,  of  Shelswell  ?  Would  not  the 
unhappy  coachmen  of  five-and-twenty  years  back  have  gone 
on,  wearing  out  their  breeches  with  the  bumping  of 'the  old 
coach-box,  and  their  stomachs  with  brandy,  had  not  Mr. 
Warde,  of  Squerries,  after  many  a  weary  endeavour,  per- 
suaded the  proprietors  to  place  their  boxes  upon  springs — 
the  plan  for  accomplishing  which  was  suggested  by  Mr. 
Roberts,  nephew  to  the  then  proprietor  of  the  White  Horse, 
Fetter  Lane,  London,  but  now  of  the  Royal  Hotel,  Calais  ? 
What  would  the  Devonshire  road  have  been,  but  for  the 
late  Sir  Charles  Bamfylde,  Sir  John  Rogers,  Colonel  Prouse, 
Sir  Lawrence  Palk,  and  others  ?  Have  the  advice  and  th6 
practice  of  such  experienced  men  as  Mr.  Charles  Buxton, 
Mr.  Heniy  Villebois,  Mr.  Okeover,  Sir  Bellingham  Graham, 
Mr.  John  Walker,  Lord  Sefton,  Sir  Felix  Agar,*  Mr.  Ackers, 
Mr.  Maxse,  Hon.  Fitzroy  Stanhope,  Colonel  Spicer,  Colonel 
Sibthorpe,  cum  multis  aliis,  been  thrown  away  upon  persons 
who  have  looked  up  to  them  as  protectors  ?  Certainly  not : 
neither  would  the  improvement  in  carriages — stage-coaches 
more  especially — have  arrived  at  its  present  heighl^  but  for 
the  attention  and  suggestions  of  such  persons  as  we  have 
been  speaking  of." 

A  commemoration  of  long  service  in  the  coaching  depart- 
ment may  be  related  here.  In  the  autumn  of  1835,  a  hand- 
some compliment  was  paid  to  Mr.  Charles  Holmes,  the 


*  Perhaps  one  of  the  finest  specimens  of  good  coachmanship  was 
performed  by  Sir  Felix  Agar.  He  made  a  bet,  which  he  won,  that  he 
would  drive  his  own  four-horses-in-hand  up  Grosvenor-place,  down  the 
passage  into  Tattersall's  Yard,  around  the  pillar  which  stands  in  the 
centre  of  it,  and  back  again  into  Grosvenor-place,  without  either  of  hit 
horses  going  at  a  slower  pace  than  a  trot. 


WHIST  CLUBS. 


251 


driver  and  part  proprietor  of  the  Blenheim  coach  (from 
Woodstock  to  London)  to  celebrate  the  completion  of  his 
twentieth  year  on  that  well-appointed  coacli,  a  period  that 
had  elapsed  without  a  single  accident  to  his  coach,  his  pas- 
sengers, or  himself;  and  during  which  time,  \vith  the  ex- 
ception of  a  very  short  absence  from  indisposition,  he  had 
driven  his  sixty-five  miles  every  day,  making  somewhere  about 
twenty-three  thousand  miles  a  year.  The  numerous  patrons 
of  the  coach  entered  into  a  subscription  to  present  him  with 
a  piece  of  plate;  and  accordingly  a  cup,  bearing  the  shape  of 
an  antique  vase,  the  cover  surmounted  by  a  beautifully 
modelled  horse,  with  a  coach  and  four  horses  on  one  side, 
and  a  suitable  inscription  on  the  other,  was  presented  to  Mr. 
Holmes  by  that  staunch  patron  of  the  road.  Sir  Henry 
Peyton,  Bart.,  in  August,  at  a  dinner,  at  the  Thatched 
House  Tavern,  St  James's-street,  to  which  between  forty  and 
fifty  gentlemen  sat  down.  The  list  of  subscribers  amounted 
to  upwards  of  two  hundred  and  fifty,  including  among  others 
the  Duke  of  Wellington. 

Whist  Clubs. 

To  Hoyle  has  been  ascribed  the  invention  of  the  game  of 
■\Vhist  This  is  certainly  a  mistake,  though  there  can  be  no 
doubt  that  it  was  indebted  to  him  for  being  first  specially 
treated  of  and  introduced  to  the  public  in  a  scientific  man- 
ner. He  also  wrote  on  piquet,  quadrille,  and  backgammon, 
but  little  is  known  of  him  more  than  that  he  was  bom  in  1672, 
and  died  in  Cavendish-square  on  29th  August,  1769,  at  the 
advanced  age  of  ninety-seven.  He  was  a  barrister  by  pro- 
fession, and  Registrar  of  the  Prerogative  in  Ireland,  a  post 
worth  600/.  a  year.  His  treatise  on  Whist,  for  which  he 
received  from  the  publisher  the  sum  of  1000/.,  ran  through 
five  editions  in  one  year,  besides  being  extensively  piratbd. 

Whist,  Ombre,  and  Quadrille,  at  Court  were  used. 
And  Bassett's  power  the  City  dames  amused, 


a52  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

Imperial  Whist  was  yet  but  slight  esteemed, 
And  pastime  fit  for  none  but  rustics  deemed. 
How  slow  at  first  is  still  the  growth  of  fame'! 
And  what  obstructions  wait  each  rising  name  1 
Our  stupid  fathers  thus  neglected,  long. 
The  glorious  boast  of  Milton's  epic  song  ; 
But  Milton's  muse  at  last  a  critic  found. 
Who  spread  his  praise  o'er  all  the  world  around  ; 
And  Hoyle  at  length,  for  Whist  performed  the  same, 
And  proved  its  right  to  universal  fame. 

Whist  first  began  to  be  popular  in  England  about  1 730, 
when  it  was  very  closely  studied  by  a  party  of  gentlemen, 
who  formed  a  sort  of  Club,  at  the  Crown  Coffee-house,  in 
Bedford-row.  Hoyle  is  said  to  have  given  instructions  in 
the  game,  for  which  his  charge  was  a  guinea  a  lesson. 

The  Laws  of  Whist  have  been  variously  given.*  More  than 
half  a  century  has  elapsed  since  the  supremacy  of  "long 
whist,"  was  assailed  by  a  reformed,  or  rather  revolutionized 
form  of  the  game.  The  champions  of  the  ancient  rules  and 
methods  did  not  at  once  submit  to  the  innovation.  The 
conservatives  were  not  without  some  good  arguments  on  their 
side ;  but  "short  whist "  had  attractions  that  proved  irre- 
sistible, and  it  has  long  since  fully  established  itself  as  the 
only  game  to  be  understood  when  whist  is  named.  But 
hence,  in  the  course  of  time,  has  arisen  an  inconvenience. 
The  old  school  of  players  had,  in  the  works  of  Hoyle 
and  Cavendish,  manuals  and  text-books  of  which  the  rules, 
cases,  and  decisions  were  generally  accepted.  For  short 
whist  no  such  "  volume  paramount "  has  hitherto  existed. 
Hoyle  could'  not  be  safely  trusted  by  a  learner,  so  much  con- 
tained in  that  venerable  having  become  obsolete.  Thus, 
doubtful  cases  arising  out  of  the  short  game  had  to  be  re- 
ferred to  the  best  living  players  for  decision.  But  there  was 
some  confusion  in  the  "  whist  world,"  and  the  necessity  of  a 
code  of  the  modern  laws  and  rules  of  this  "  almost  perfect " 


Abridged  £rom  the  Times  journal. 


WHIST  CLUBS.  2S3 

game  had  become  apparent,  when  a  combined  effort  was 
made  by  a  committee  of  some  of  the  most  skilful  to  supply 
the  deficiency. 

The  movement  was  commenced  by  Mr.  J.  Loraine  Bald- 
win, who  obtained  the  assistance  of  a  Committee,  including 
members  of  several  of  the  best  London  Clubs  well  known  as 
whist  players.  They  were  deputed  to  draw  up  a  code  of  rules 
for  the  game,  which,  if  approved,  was  to  be  adopted  by  the 
Arlington  Club.  They  performed  their  task  with  the  most  de- 
cided success.  The  rules  they  laid  down  as  governing  the 
best  modern  practice  have  been  accepted,  not  only  by  the 
Arhngton,  but  the  Army  and  Navy,  Arthur's,  Boodle's,, 
Brookes's  Carlton,  Conservative,  Garrick,  Guards,  Junior 
Carlton,  Portland,  Oxford  and  Cambridge,  Reform,  St. 
James's,  White's,  etc.  To  the  great  section  of  the  whist  world 
that  do  not  frequent  Clubs,  it  maybe  satisfactory  to  knov/the 
names  of  the  gentlemen  composing  the  Committee  of  Codifi- 
cation, whose  rules  have  become  law.  They  are  Admiral 
Rouse,  chairman;  Mr.  G.  Bentinck,  M.P. ;  Mr.  J.  Bushe;  Mr. 
J.  Clay,  M.P.;  Mr.  C.  Greville;  Mr.  R.  ICnightley,  M.P.;  Mr. 
H.  B.  Mayne;  Mr.  G.  Payne;  and  Colonel  Pipon.  The 
"Laws  of  Short  Whist"*  were  in  1865  published  in  a  small 
volume ;  and  to  this  strictly  legal  portion  of  the  book  is  apr 
pended  "  A  Treatise  on  the  Game,"  by  Mr.  J.  Clay,  M.P. 
for  Hull.  It  may  be  read  with  advantage  by  the  commencing 
student  of  whist  and  the  advanced  player,  and  with  pleasure 
even  by  those  who  are  totally  ignorant  of  it,  and  have  no 
wish  to  learn  it.  There  are  several  incidental  illustrations 
and  anecdotes,  that  will  interest  those  not  gifted  with  the 
faculties  good  whist  requires.  Mr.  Clay  is  reported  to  be 
one  of  the  best,  if  not  the  very  best,  of  modem  players. 
The  Dedication  is  as  follows:  "To  the  Members  of  the 
Portland  Club,  admitted  among  wliona,  as  a  boy,  I  have 


•  "The  Laws  of  Short  Whist,"  edited  by  J.  L.  Baldwin,  and  "A 
Treatise  on  the  Game,"  by  J.  C.     Harrison,  59,  Pall  Mall. 


aS4  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

passed  many  of  the  pleasantest  days ,  of  my  life,  I  have 
learned  what  little  I  know  of  Whist,  and  have  formed  many 
of  my  oldest  friendships,  this  Treatise  on  Short  Whist  is 
dedicated  with  feelings  of  respect  and  regard,  by  their  old 
playfellow,  J.  C." 

Leaving  his  instructions,  like  the  rules  of  the  committee, 
to  a  more  severe  test  than  criticism,  we  extract  from  his  first 
chapter  a  description  of  the  incident  to  which  short  whist 
owes  its  origin.  It  will  probably  be  quite  new  to  thousands 
who  are  familiar  with  the  game. 

"  Some  eighty  years  back.  Lord  Peterborough,  having  one 
night  lost  a  large  sum  of  money,  the  friends  with  whom  he 
was  playing  proposed  to  make  the  game  five  points  instead 
often,  in  order  to  give  the  loser  a  chance,  at  a  quicker  game, 
of  recovering  his  loss.  The  new  game  was  found  to  be  so 
lively,  and  money  changed  hands  with  such  increased 
rapidity,  that  these  gentlemen  and  their  friends,  all  of  them, 
leading  members  of  the  Clubs  of  the.  day,  continued  to  play 
it.  It  became  general  in  the  Clubs,  thence  was  introduced 
to  private  houses,  travelled  into  the  country,  went  to  Paris, 
and  has  long  since  so  entirely  superseded  the  whist  of  Hoyle's 
day,  that  of  short  whist  alone  I  propose  to  treat.  I  shall, 
thus  spare  the  reader,  the  learning  much  in  the  old  works 
that  it  is  not  necessary  for  him  to  know,  and  not  a  little 
which,  if  learned,  should  be  at  once  forgotten." 

Graham's,  in  St.  James's-street,  the  greatest  of  Card  Clubs, 
was  dissolved  about  thirty  years  back. 

Prince's  Club  Racquet  Courts. 

In  the  early  history  of  the  metropolis  we  find  the  ,Lon- , 
doners  warmly  attached  to  outdoor  sports  and  pastimes,; 
although  time  and  the  spread  of  the  great,  city  have  long 
obliterated  the  sites  upon  which  these  popular  amusements 
were  enjoyed.  Smithfield,  we  know,  was  the  town-green 
foi:  centuries  before  it  became  the  focus  of  its  fanatic  fires : 


PRINCE'S  CLUB  RACQUET  COURTS.  255 

Maypoles  stood  in  various  parts  of  the  City  e^ikI  .sub,urbs,  as 
kept  in  remembrance  by  name  to  this  day ;  football  was 
played  in  the  main  artery  of  the  town — Fleet-street  and  the 
Strand,  for  instance ;  faille  malle  was  played  in  St.  James's 
Park,  and  the  street  which  is  named  after  the  game ;  and 
tennis  and  otlier  games  at  ball  were  enjoyed  on  open 
grounds  long  before  they  were  played  in  covered  courts ; 
while  the  bowling-greens  in  the  environs  were  neither  few  nor 
far  between,  almost  to  our  time. 

Tennis,  we  need  scarcely  state  here,  was  originally  played 
with  the  hand,  at  first  naked,  then  covered  with  a  thick 
glove,  to  which  succeeded  the  bat  or  racquet,  whence  the 
present  name  of  the  game.  A  few  of  our  kings  have  been 
tennis-players.  In  the  sixteenth  century  tennis  courts  were 
common  in  England,  being  attached  to  country  mansions. 
Later,  pla)dng-courts  were  opened  in  the  metropolis :  for 
example,  to  the  houses  of  entertainment  which  formerly 
stood  at  the  opposite  angles  of  Windmill-street  and  the 
Haymarket  were  attached  tennis-courts,  which  lasted  to  our 
time  :  one  of  these  courts  exists  in  James-street,  Haymarket, 
to  this  day.  To  stroll  out  from  the  heated  and  crowded 
streets  of  the  town  to  the  village  was  a  fashion  of  the  last 
century,  as  we  read  in  the  well-remembered  line-^ 

Some  dukes  at  Marybone  bowl  time  away.  . 

Taking  into  account  the  vast  growth  of  the  metropolis, 
we  are  not  surprised  at  so  luxurious  a  means  of  healthful 
enjoyment  as  a  racquet  court  presents  being  added  to  the 
establishments  or  institutions  of  this  very  clubbable  age. 
Hitherto  Clubs  had  been  mostly  appropriated  to  the  pur- 
poses of  refection ;  but  why  should  not  the  social  refinement 
he  extended  to  the  enjoyment  of  so  hea,lth-giving  a  sport  and 
manly  a  pastime  as  racquet  ?  The  experiment  was  made, 
and  with  perfect  success,  immediately  upon  the  confines  of 
one  of  the  most  recent  settlements  of  fashion— Belgravia.  It 


2S6  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

is  private  property,  and  bears  the  name  of  Prince's  Club 
Racquet  Courts. 

The  Club,  established  in  1854,  is  built  upon  the  Pavilion 
estate,  in  the  rear  of  the  north  side  of  Sloane-street,  the 
principal  entrance  being  from  Hans-place.  The  grounds 
are  of  considerable  extent,  and  were  originally  laid  out  by 
Capability  Brown.  They  were  almost  environed  with  lofty 
timber-trees ;  and  the  genius  of  landscape  gardening,  fos- 
tered by  wealth,  rendered  this  glade  in  the  Brompton  groves 
of  old  a  sort  of  rural  elysium. 

The  Pavilion  estate  was  once  the  property  of  Holland, 
the  well-known  architect,  who  planned  Slcane-street  and 
Hans-place,  as  a  building  speculation  ;  and,  in  the  grounds 
nearly  between  them,  built  himself  what  was  then  considered 
a  handsome  villa,  the  front  of  which  was  originally  designed 
by  Holland  as  a  model  for  the  Prince  of  Wales's  Pavilion 
at  Brighton  ;  hence  the  name,  the  Pavilion  estate.  In  the 
grounds,  among  the  remains  of  Brown's  ornamental  work, 
was  an  icehouse,  amidst  the  imitative  ruins  of  a  priory. 
Here,  also,  were  the  Ionic  columns  (isolated)  which  were 
formerly  in  the  screen  of  Carlton  House. 

The  Club  buildings  comprise  seven  closed  courts ;  a 
tennis  court ;  gallery  and  refreshment  rooms ;  baths,  and  a 
Turkish  bath. 

Prince's  Club  is  a  subscription  establishment;  and  its 
government  is  vested  in  a  committee.  Gentlemen  desirous 
of  becoming  members  of  the  Club  must  be  proposed  and 
seconded  by  two  of  its  members.  Two  of  the  rules  enact — 
that  members  have  the  privilege  of  introducing  two  friends, 
but  that  such  visitors,  if  they  play,  be  charged  double  the 
rate  charged  to  members ;  and  that  no  hazard,  dice,  or 
game  of  chance  be  allowed  in  this  Club.  Their  Royal 
Highnesses  the  Prince  of  Wales  and  the  Duke  of  Cambridge 
are  members. 


as7 


An  Angling  Club. 

Professor  Owen  is  accustomed  to  relate  the  following  very 
amusing  incident,  which  occurred  in  a  Club  of  some  of  the 
working  scientific  men  of  London,  who,  with  a  few  others, 
after  their  winter's  work  of  lecturing  is  over,  occasionally 
sally  forth  to  have  a  day's  fishing.  "We  have,"  says  Pro- 
fessor Owen,  "  for  that  purpose  taken  a  small  river  in  the 
neighbourhood  of  the  metropolis,  and  near  its  banks  there 
stands  a  little  public-house,  where  we  dine  soberly  and 
sparingly,  on  such  food  as  old  Izaak  Walton  loved.  We 
have  a  rule  that  he  who  catches  the  biggest  fish  of  the  day 
shall  be  our  president  for  the  evening.  In  the  course  of  one 
day,  a  member,  not  a  scientific  man,  but  a  high  political 
man,  caught  a  trout  that  weighed  3^  lb. ;  but  earlier  in 
the  day  he  had  pulled  out  a  barbel  of  half  a  pound  weight. 
So  while  we  were  on  the  way  to  our  inn,  what  did  this 
pohtical  gentleman  do  but,  with  the  butt-end  of  his  rod,  ram 
the  barbel  down  the  trout's  throat,  in  which  state  he  handed 
his  fish  to  be  weighed.  Thus  he  scored  four  pounds,  which 
being  the  greatest  weight  he  took  the  chair. 

"  As  we  were  going  away  from  home,  a  man  of  science, — 
it  was  the  President  of  the  Royal  Society, — said  to  the  man 
of  politics,  '  If  you  don't  want  that  fine  fish  of  yours,  I  should 
like  to  have  it,  for  I  have  some  friends  to  dine  with  me  to- 
morrow.' My  Lord  took  it  home,  and  I  heard  no  more 
until  we  met  on  the  next  week.  Then,  while  we  were  pre- 
paring our  tackle,  the  President  of  the  Royal  Society  said 
to  our  high  political  friend,  '  There  were  some  very  extra- 
ordinary circumstances,  do  you  know,  about  that  fish  you 
gave  me.  I  had  no  idea  that  the  trout  was  so  voracious ; 
but  that  one  had  swallowed  a  barbel.' — '  I  am  astonished  to 
hear  your  Lordship  say  so,'  rejoined  an  eminent  naturaHst ; 
'  trout  may  be  voracious  enough  to  swallow  minnows — but 
a  barbel,  my  Lord  !    There  must  be  some  mistake.' — '  Not 

s 


258  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

at  all,'  replied  his  lordship,  '  for  the  fact  got  to  my  family 
that  the  cook,  in  cutting  open  the  throat,  had  found  a  barbel 
inside ;  and  as  my  family  knew  I  was  fond  of  natural  history, 
I  was  called  into  the  kitchen.  There  I  saw  the  troiit  had 
swallowed  a  barbel,  full  half  a  pound  weight.' — '  Out  of  the 
question,  my  Lord,'  said  the  naturalist;  'it's  altogether 
quite  unscientific  and  unphilosophical.' — '  I  don't '  know 
what  may  be  philosophical  in  the  matter — I  only  know  I  am 
telling  you  a  matter  of  fact,'  said  his  Lordship  ;  and  the 
dispute  having  lasted  awhile,  explanations  were  giyen,  and 
the  practical  joke  was  heartily  enjoyed.  And  "  (continued 
Professor  Owen)  "you  will  see  that  both  were  right  aiid 
both  were  wrong.  My  Lord  was  right  in  his  fact — the 
barbel  was  inside  the  trout ;  but  he  was  quite  wrong  in  his 
hypothesis  founded  upon  that  fact,  that  the  trout  had  there- 
fore swallowed  the  barbel, — the  last  was  only  matter  of 
opinion." 

The  Red  Lions. 

In  1839,  when  the  British  Association  met  in  Birmingham, 
several  of  its  younger  members  happened,  accidentally,  to 
dine  at  the  Red  Lion,  in  Church-street.  The  dinner  was 
pleasant,  the  guests  well  suited  to  each  other,  and  the  meet- 
ing altogether  proved  so  agreeable,  that  it  was  resolved  to 
continue  it  from  year  to  year,  wherever  the  Association 
might  happen  to  meet.  By  degrees  the  "  Red  Lions  " — the 
name  was  assumed  from  the  accident  of  the  first  meeting- 
place— became  a  very'  exclusive  Club ;  and  under  the 
presidency  of  Professor  Edward  Forbes,  it  acquired  a 
celebrity  which,  in  its  way,  almost  rivalled  that  of  the 
Association  itself.  Forbes  first  drew  around  him  the  small 
circle  of  jovial  philosophers  at  the  Red  Lion.  The  names  of 
Lankester,  Thomson,  Bell,  Mitchell,  and  Strickland  are  down 
in  the  old  muster-roll.  Many  were  added  afterwards,  as  the 
Club  was  kept  up  in  London,  in  meetings  at  Anderton's,  in 
Fleet-street.  The  old  cards  of  invitation  were  very  droll:  they 


THE  RED  LIONS.  259 

were  stamped  with  the  figure  of  a  Red  Lion  erect,  with  a  pot 
of  beer  in  one  paw,  and  a  long  day  pipe  in  the  other,  and 
the  invitation  commenced  with  "  The  camivora  will  feed  " 
at  such  an  hour.  Forbes,  who  as  pater  omnipotens,  always 
took  the  chair,  at  the  first  chance  meeting  round  the  plain 
table  of  the  inn,  gave  a  capital  stock  of  humour  to  this  feed- 
ing of  the  naturalists  by  taking  up  his  coat-tail  and  roaring 
whenever  a  good  thing  was  said  or  a  good  song  sung ;  and, 
of  course,  all  the  other  Red  Lions  did  the  same.  When 
roaring  and  tail-wagging  became  so  characteristic  an  institu- 
tion among  the  members,  Mr.  Mitchell,  then  secretary  of  the 
Zoological  Society,  presented  a  fine  lion's  skin  to  the  Club  ; 
and  ever  after  the  President  sat  with  this  skin  spread  over 
his  chair,  the  paws  at  the  elbows,  arid  the  tail  handy  to  be 
wagged.  Alas  !  this  tail  no  longer  wags  at  Birmingham,  and 
after  vibrating  with  languid  emotion  in  London,  has  now- 
ceased  to  show  any  signs  of  life.  The  old  Red  Lion  has 
lost  heart,  and  has  slumbered  since  the  death  of  Forbes. 

At  the  Meeting  of  the  British  Association  at  Birmingham, 
in  1865,  an  endeavour  was  made  to  revive  the  Red  Lion 
dinner  on  something  like  its  former  scale ;  the  idea  being 
probably  suggested  by  the  circumstance  of  the  Club  having 
been  originated  in  Birmingham.  Lord  Houghton,  who  is, 
we  believe,  "  an  old  Red,"  presided ;  but  the  idiosyiicrasy 
of  the  real  Red  Lion,  and  his  intense  love  of  plain  roast  and 
boiled,  were  missed  :  some  sixty  guests  sat  down,  not  at  the 
Red  Lion,  but  at  a  hotel  banquet.  Not  one  of  the  cele- 
brants on  this  occasion  had  passed  through  his  novitiate  as 
a  Red  Lion  cub  :  he  was  not  asked  whether  he  could  roar 
or  sing  a  song,  or  had  ever  said  a  good  thing,  one  of  which 
qualifications  was  a,  sine  qu&  non  in  the  old  Club.  There 
were,  however,  some  good  songs  :  Professor  Rankme  sang 
"  The  Mathematician  in  Love,"  a  song  of  his  own.  Then, 
there  are  some  choice  spirits  among  these  philosophers. 
After  the  banquet  a  section  adjourned  to  the  B.  Club, 
members  of  which  are  chiefly  chemical  in  their   serious 

S  a 


36o  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

moments.  Indeed,  all  through  the  meeting  there  was  a 
succession  of  jovial  parties  in  the  identical  room  at  the  Red 
Lion.* 

The  Coventry,  Erectheum,  and  Parthenon 
Clubs. 

The  Coventry,  or  Ambassadors'  Club,  was  instituted 
about  twenty  years  since,  at  No.  io6,  Piccadilly,  facing 
the  Green  Park.  The  handsome  stone-fronted  mansion 
occupies  the  site  of  the  old  Greyhound  inn,  and  was  bought 
by  the  Earl  of  Coventry  of  Sir  Hugh  Hunlock,  in  1764,  for 
10,000/.,  subject  to  the  ground-rent  of  75/.  per  annum. 
The  Club  enjoyed  but  a  brief  existence  :  it  was  closed  in 
March,  1854. 

The  Erectheum  Club,  St.  James's-square,  corner  of  York- 
street,  was  established  by  Sir  John  Dean  Paul,  Bart.,  and 
became  celebrated  for  its  good  dinners.  The  Club-house 
was  formerly  the  town  depot  of  Wedgwood's  famous 
"  ware  /'  and  occupies  the  site  of  the  mansion  built  for  the 
Earl  of  Romney,  the  handsome  Sydney  of  De  Grammont's 
Memoirs. 

The  Parthenon  Club-house  (late  Mr.  Edwards's),  east  side 
of  Regent-street,  nearly  facing  St.  Philip's  Chapel,  was  de- 
signed by  Nash ;  the  first  floor  is  elegant  Corinthian.  The 
south  division  was  built  by  Mr.  Nash  for  his  own  residence  ; 
it  has  a  long  gallery,  decorated  from  a  log^a  of  the  Vatican 
at  Rome  :  it  is  now  the  Gallery  of  Illustration. 

"  The  Coventry  Club  was  a  Club  of  most  exclusive  ex- 
quisites, and  was  rich  in  diplomacy ;  but  it  blew  up  in 
admired  confusion.  Even  so  did  Lord  Cardigan's  Club, 
founded  upon  the  site  of  Crockford's.  The  Clarence,  the 
Albion,  and  a  dozen  other  small  Clubs  have  all  dissolved, 
some  of  them  with  great  loss  to  the   members,  and  the 


Abridged  from  the  Doily  Nnws, 


ANTIQUARIAN  CLUBS.  261 

Erectheum  and  Parthenon  thought  it  prudent  to  join  their 
forces  to  keep  the  wolf  from  the  door."— New  Quarterly 
Review. 

Antiquarian  Clubs, — The  Noviomagians. 

We  have  already  seen  how  the  more  convivially  disposed 
members  of  Learned  Societies  have,  from  time  to  time, 
formed  themselves  into  Clubs.  The  Royals  have  done  so, 
ab  initio.  The  Antiquaries  appear  to  have  given  up  their 
Club  and  their  Anniversary  Dinner;  but  certain  of  the 
Fellows,  resolving  not  to  remain  impransi,  many  years  since, 
formed  a  Club,  styled  "  Noviomagians,"  from  the  identifica- 
tion of  the  Roman  station  of  Noviomagus  being  just  then 
discovered,  or  rather 

Rife  and  celebrated  in  the  mouths 
Of  wisest  men. 

One  of  the  Club-founders  was  Mr.  A.  J.  Kempe  ;  and  Mr. 
Crofton  Croker  was  president  more  than  twenty  years! 
Lord  Londesborough  and  Mr.  Comer,  the  Southwark 
antiquary,  were  also  Noviomagians ;  and  in  the  present 
Club-list  are  Sir  William  Betham,  Mr.  Fairholt,  Mr.  Godwin, 
Mr.  S.  C.  Hall,  Mr.  Lemon,  etc.  The  Club  dine  together 
once  a  month  during  the  season  at  the  old  tavern  next  the 
burial-place  of  Joe  Miller  in  Portugal  Street.  Here  the 
Fellows  meet  for  the  promotion  of  good  fellowship  and 
antiquarian  pursuits.  "  Joking  minutes  are  kept,  in  which 
would  be  found  many  known  names,  either  as  visitors  or 
associates, — Theodore  Hook,  Sir  Henry  ElUs,  Britton, 
Dickens,  Thackeray,  John  Bruce,  Jerdan,  Planchd,  Bell, 
Maclise,  etc."  The  Club  and  its  visitors  may  have  caught 
inspiration  here ;  for  in  their  sallies  movere  jocum,  they  have 
imitated  the  wits  at  Strawberry  Hill,  and  found  Arras  for  the 
Club,  with  a  butter-boat  rampant  for  the  crest,  which  is  very 
significant. 


262  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

In  1855,  Lord  Mayor  Moon,  F.S.A.,  entertained  at  the 
Mansion  House  the  Noviomagians,  and  the^office-bearers  of 
the  Society  of  Antiquaries  to  meet  them.  After  dinner, 
some  short  papers  were  read,  including  one  by  Mr.  Lemon, 
of  the  State  Paper  Office,  presenting  some  curious  illus- 
trations of  the  state  of  society  in  London  in  the  reign  of 
James  I.,  showing  the  Migration  of  Citizens  Westward" 
(See  "Romance  of  London,"  vol.  iii.  pp.  315-320.) 

The  Eccentrics. 

Late  in  the  last  century  there  met  at  a  tavera  kept  by  one 
Fulham,  in  Chandos  Street,  Covent  Garden,  a  convivial 
Club  called  "The  Eccentrics,"  which  was  an  offshoot  of 
"  The  Brilliants."  They  next  removed  to  Tom  Rees's,  in 
May's-buildings,  St.  Martin's-lane,  and  here  they  were 
flourishing  at  all  hours,  some  thirty  years  since.  Amongst 
the  members  were  many  celebrities  of  the  literary  and 
political  world;  they  were  always  treated  with  indulgence 
by  the  authorities.  An  inaugural  ceremony  was  performed 
upon  the  making  of  a  member,  which  terminated  with  a 
jubilation  from  the  President.  The  books  of  the  Club  up  to 
the  time  of  its  removal  from  May's-buildings  are  stated  to 
have  passed  into  the  possession  of  Mr.  Lloyd,  the  hatter,  of 
the  Strand,  who,  by  the  way,  was  eccentric  in  his  business, 
and  published  a  small  work  descriptive  of  the  various 
fashions  of  hats  worn  in  his  time,  illustrated  with  charac- 
teristic engravings. 

From  its  commencement  the  Eccentrics  are  said  to  have 
numbered  upwards  of  40,000  members,  many  of  them  hold- 
ing high  social  possition :  among  others,  Fox,  Sheridan, 
Lord  Melbourne,  and  Lord  Brougham.  On  the  same 
memorable  night  that  Sheridan  and  Lord  Petersham  were 
admitted,  Hook  was  also  enrolled  j  and  through  this  Club 
ijiembership,  Theodore  is  believed  to  have  obtained  some 
of  his  high  connexions.     In  a  novel,  published  in  numbers, 


DOUGLAS  JERROLD'S  CLUBS.  ?63 

some  thirty  years  siace,  the  author,  F.  W,  N.  Bayley, 
sketched  with  graphic  vigour  the  meetings  of  the  Eccentrics 
at  the  old  tavern  in  May's-buildings. 

Douglas  Jerrold's  Clubs. 

One  of  the  chapters  in  "The  Life  and  Remains  of 
Douglas  Jerrold,"  by  his  son  Blanchard  Jerrold,  discourses 
most  pleasantly  of  the  several  Clubs  to  which  Mr.  Jerrold 
became  attached.  He  was  of  a  clubbable  nature,  and 
delighted  in  wit  combats  and  brilliant  repartees,  the  flash  of 
which  was  perfectly  electric. 

In  this  very  agreeable  prkis,  we  find  that  towards  the  end 
of  theyear  1824,  some  young  men  met  at  a  humble  tavern, 
the  Wrekin,  in  the  genial  neighbourhood  of  Covent  Garden, 
with  Shakspeare  as  their  common  idol ;  and  "  it  was  a  regu- 
lation of  this  Club  that  some  paper,  or  poem,  or  conceit, 
bearing  upon  Shakspeare,  should  be  contributed  by  each 
member.  Hither  came  Douglas  Jerrold,  and  he  was  soon 
joined  by  Laman  Blanchard.  Upon  Jerrold's  suggestion, 
the  Club  was  called  the  Mulberries,  and  their  contributions 
were  entitled  Mulberry  Leaves.  In  the  Club  were  William 
Godwin ;  Kenny  Meadows,  the  future  illustrator  of  Shak- 
speare; W.  Elton,  the  Shakspearean  actor;  and  Edward 
Chatfield,  the  artist.  Mr.  Jerrold  wrote,  in  the  "Illuminated 
Magazine,"  a  touching  memoir  of  the  Society — "  that  knot 
of  wise  and  jocund  men,  then  unknown,  but  gaily  struggling." 

The  Mulberry  Club  lived  many  years,  and  gathered  a 
valuable  crop  of  leaves — contributions  from  its  members. 
They  fell  into  Mr.  Elton's  hands,  and  are  now  in  the  pos- 
session of  his  family.  They  were  to  have  been  published, 
but  no  one  would  undertake  to  see  them  through  the  press 
— an  office  which,  in  most  cases,  is  a  very  unthankful  one. 
The  Club  did  not,  however,  die  easily :  it  was  changed  and 
grafted.  "  In  times  nearer  the  present,  when  it  was  called 
the  Shakspeare  Club,  Charles  Dickens,  Mr.  Justice  Talfourd, 


254  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

Daniel  Maclise,  Mr.  Macready,  Mr.  Frank  Stone,  etc. 
belonged  to  it.  Respectability  killed  it."  But  some  de- 
lightful results  of  these  Mulberry  Club  meetings  are  em- 
balmed in  Mr.  Jerrold's  "  Cakes  and  Ale,"  and  their  life 
reminds  one  of  the  dancing  motes  in  the  latter.  Then  we 
hear  of  other  clubs — the  Gratis  and  the  Rationals,  of  which 
Jerrold  was  a  member. 

"But,"  says  the  gentle  Memoir,  "with  clubs  of  more 
recent  date,  with  the  Hooks  and  Eyes,  and  lastly  with  Our 
Club,  Douglas  Jerrold's  name  is  most  intimately  associated. 
It  may  be  justly  said  that  he  was  the  life  and  soul  of  these 
three  gatherings  of  men.  His  arrival  was  a  happy  moment 
for  members  already  present.  His  company  was  sought  with 
wondrous  eagerness  whenever  a  dinner  or  social  evening 
was  contemplated ;  for,  as  a  club  associate  said  of  him,  '  he 
sparkled  whenever  you  touched  him,  like  the  sea  at  night.' 
A  writer  in  the  "  Quarterly  Review  "  well  said  of  him  :  '  In 
the  bright  sallies  of  conversational  wit  he  has  no  surviving 
equal.' 

"  He  was  thus  greatly  acceptable  in  all  social  literary  Clubs. 
In  the  Museum  Club,  for  instance,  (an  attempt  made  in 
1847  to  estabUsh  a  properly  modest  and  real  literary  Club,) 
he  was  unquestionably  the  member ;  for  he  was  the  most 
clubbable  of  men."  When  members  dropped  in,  sharp  shots 
were  possibly  exchanged :  here  are  a  few  that  were  actually 
fired  within  the  precincts  of  the  Museum  Club — fired  care- 
lessly and  forgotten : 

Jerrold  defined  dogmatism  as  "  puppyism  come  to  ma- 
turity ; "  and  a.  flaming  uxorious  epitaph  put  up  by  a  famous 
cook,  on  his  wife's  tomb,  as  "  mock  turtle."  A  prosy  old 
gentleman,  meeting  him  as  he  was  passing  at  his  usual  quick 
pace  along  Regent-street,  poised  himself  into  an  attitude, 
and  began :  "  Well,  Jerrold,  my  dear  boy,  what  is  going 
on?" — "I  am,"  said  the  wit,  instantly  shootmg  off. 

At  a  dinner  of  artists,  a  barrister  present,  having  his 
,  ealth  drunk  in  connexion  with  the  law,  begaii  an  embarrassed 


DOUGLAS  yESROLD'S  CLUBS.  265 

answer  by  saying  that  he  did  not  see  how  the  law  could  be 
considered  one  of  the  arts,  when  Jerrold  jerked  in  the  word 
black,  and  threw  the  company  into  convulsions. 

A  bore  remarking  how  charmed  he  was  with  a  certain 
opera,  and  that  there  was  one  particular  song  which  always 
carried  him  quite  away — "  Would  that  I  could  sing  it !" 
ejaculated  the  wit. 

A  dinner  is  discussed.  Douglas  Jerrold  listens  quietly, 
possibly  tired  of  dinners,  and  declining  pressing  invitations 
to  be  present.  In  a  few  minutes  he  will  chime  in,  "  If  an 
earthquake  were  to  engulf  England  to-morrow,  the  English 
would  manage  to  meet  and  dine  somewhere  among  the 
rubbish,  just  to  celebrate  the  event." 

A  friend  is  anxious  to  awaken  Mr.  Jerrold's  sympathies  in 
behalf  of  a  mutual  acquaintance  who  is  in  want  of  a  round  sum 
of  money.  But  this  mutual  friend  has  already  sent  his  hat 
about  among  his  literary  brethren  on  more  than  one  occasion. 

Mr. 's  hat  is  becoming  an  institution,  and  friends  were 

grieved  at  the  indelicacy  of  the  proceeding.  On  the  above 
occasion,  the  bearer  of  the  hat  was  received  with  evident 
dissatisfaction.     "  Well,"  said  Douglas  Jerrold,  "  how  much 

does want  this  time  ?" — "  Why,  just  a  four  and  two 

noughts  will,  I  think,  put  him  straight,"  the  bearer  of  the  hat 
replied.  Jerrold — "Well,  put  me  down  for  one  of  the 
noughts." 

"  The  Chain  of  Events,"  playing  at  the  Lyceum  Theatre, 
though  unsuccessful,  is  mentioned.  "  Humph,"  said 
Douglas  Jerrold,  "I'm  afraid  the  manager  will  find  it  a 
door-chain  strong  enough  to  keep  everybody  out  of  the 
house," — and  so  it  proved. 

Douglas  Jerrold  is  seriously  disappointed  with  a  certain 
book  written  by  one  of  his  friends,  and  has  expressed  his 
disappointment.     Friend—"!  have   heard   that  you    said 

was  the  worst  book  I  ever  wrote."    Jerrold— "^  No,  I 

didn't ;  I  said  it  was  the  worst  book  anybody  ever  wrote." 

"A  supper  of  sheep's-heads  is  proposed,  and  presently 


266  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

served.  One  gentleman  present  is  particularly  enthusiastic 
on  the  excellence  of  the  dish,  and,  as  he  throws  down  his 
knife  and  fork,  exclaims,  "  Well,  sheeps'-'heads  for  ever,  say 
I!"    /drw/(f—«  There's  egotism  !" 

During  a  stormy  discussion,  a  gentleman  rises  to  settle  the 
matter  in  dispute.  Waving  his  hands  majestically  over  the 
excited  disputants,  he  begins  : — "  Gentlemen,  all  I  want  is 
common  sense." — "Exactly,"  says  Douglas  Jerrold,  "that is 
precisely  what  you  do  want." 

But  the  Museum  Club  was  broken  up  by  troubled  spirits. 
Then  succeeded  the  Hooks  and  Eyes;  then  the  Club,  a 
social  weekly  gathering,  which  Jerrold  attended  only  three 
weeks  before  his  death.  Hence  some  of  his  best  sayings 
went  forth. 

Jerrold  ordered  a  bottle  of  old  port ;  "  not  elder  port,"  he 
said. 

Walking  to  his  Club  with  a  friend  from  the  theatre,  some 
intoxicated  young  gentleman  reeled  up  to  the  dramatist  and 
said,  "  Can  you  tell  me  the  way  to  the  Judge  and  Jury  ?" — 
"  Keep  on  as  you  are,  young  gentleman,"  was  the  reply ; 
"you're  sure  to  overtake  them." 

Asking  about  the  talent  of  a  young  painter,  his  companion 
declared  that  the  youth  was  mediocre.  "Oh!"  was  the 
reply;  "  the  very  worst  ochre  an  artist  can  set  to  work  with." 

"  The  laughing  hours,  when  these  poor  gatherings,"  says 
Mr.  Blanchard  Jerrold,  "  fell  firom  the  welWoaded  branch, 
are  remembered  still  in  the  rooms  of  Our  Club ;  and  the 
hearty  laugh  still  echoes  there,  and  will,  it  is  my  pride  to 
believe,  always  live  in  the  memory  of  that  genial  and  refined 
circle." 

The  Whittington  Club  originated  in  1846,  with  Douglas 
Jerrold,  who  became  its  first  President.  It  was  established 
at  the  Crown  and  Anchor  Tavern  in  the  Strand  ;  where,  in 
the  ball-room,  hung  a  picture  of  Whittington  listening  to 
Bow-bells,  painted  by  Newenham,  and  presented  to  the 
Club   by  the    President.     All    the    Club    premises    were 


CffESS  CLUBS.  267 

destroyed  by  fire  in  1854 ;  the  picture  was  not  saved,  but 
fortunately  it  had  been  cleverly  engraved.  The  premises 
have  been  rebuilt,  and  the  Club  still  flflurishes. 

Chess  Clubs. 

The  Clubs  in  various  parts  of  the  Meti'opolis  and  the 
suburbs,  where  Chess,  and  Chess  only,  forms  the  staple 
recreation  of  the  members,  are  numerous.  We  must,  how- 
ever, confine  ourselves  to  the  historical  data  of  the  early 
Clubs,  which  record  the  introduction  of  the  noble  game  in 
the  Metropolis. 

In  1747,  the  principal  if  not  the  only  Chess  Club  in  the 
Metropolis  met  at  Slaughter's  Coffee-house,  St.  Martin's-lane. 
The  leading  players  of  this  Club  were — Sir  Abraham  Janssen, 
Philip  Stamma  (from  Aleppo)  j  Lord  Godolphin,  Lord 
Sunderland,  and  Lord  Elibank ;  Cunningham,  the  historian ; 
Dr.  Black  and  Dr.  Cowper ;  and  it  was  through  their  invita- 
tion that  the  celebrated  Philidor  was  induced  to  visit 
England. 

Another  Club  was  shortly  afterwards  founded  at  the 
Salopian  Coifee-house,  Charing  Cross :  and  a  few  years  later, 
a  third,  which  met  next  door  to  the  Thatched  House 
Tavern,  in  St.  James's-street.  It  was  here  that  Philidor 
exhibited  his  wonderful  faculty  for  playing  blindfold ;  some 
instances  of  which  we  find  in  the  newspapers  of  the  period : — 

"Yesterday,  at  the  Chess-Club  in  St.  James's-street, 
Monsieur  Philidor  performed  one  of  those  wonderful  exhi- 
bitions for  which  he  is  so  much  celebrated.  He  played 
three  different  games  at  once  without  seeing  either  of  the 
tables.  His  opponents  were  Count  Bruhl  and  Mr.  Bowdler 
(the  two  best  players  in  London),  and  Mr.  Maseres.  He 
defeated  Count  Bruhl  in  one  hour  and  twenty  minutes,  and 
Mr.  Maseres  in  two  hours ;  Mr.  Bowdler  reduced  his  games 
to  a  drawn  battle  in  one  hour  and  three-quarters.  To  those 
who  understand  Chess,  this  exertion  of  M.  Philidor's  abilities 


268  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

must  appear  one  of  the  greatest  of  which  the  human  memory 
is  susceptible.  He  goes  through  it  with  astonishmg  accu- 
racy, and  often  corrects  mistakes  in  those  who  have  the 
board  before  them." 

In  1795,  the  veteran,  then  nearly  seventy  years  of  age, 
played  three  bUndfold  matches  in  public.  The  last  of 
these,  which  came  off  shortly  before  his  death,  we  find 
announced  in  the  daily  newspapers  thus  : — 

"Chess-Club,  1795.     Parsloe's,  St.  James's  Street. 

"  By  particular  desire,  Mons.  PhiUdor,  positively  for  the 
last  time,  will  play  on  Saturday,  the  20th  of  June,  at  two 
o'clock  precisely,  three  games  at  once  against  three  good 
players ;  two  of  them  without  seeing  either  of  the  boards, 
and  the  third  looking  over  the  table.  He  most  respectfully 
invites  all  the  members  of  the  Chess-Club  to  honour  him 
with  their  presence.  Ladies  and  gentlemen  not  belonging 
to  the  Club  may  be  provided  with  tickets  at  the  above- 
mentioned  house,  to  see  the  match,  at  five  shillings  each.'' 

Upon  the  death  of  Philidor,  the  Chess-Clubs  at  the 
West-end  seem  to  have  declined ;  and  in  1807,  the  strong- 
hold and  rallying-point  for  the  lovers  of  the  game  was  "  The 
London  Chess-Club,"  which  was  established  in  the  City,  and 
for  many  years  held  its  meetings  at  Tom's  Coffee-house,  in 
Comhill.  To  this  Club  we  are  indebted  for  many  of  the 
finest  chess-players  of  the  age. 

About  the  year  1833,  a  Club  was  founded  by  a  few 
amateurs  in  Bedford-street,  Covent  Garden.  This  establish- 
ment, which  obtained  remarkable  celebrity  as  the  arena  of 
the  famous  contests  between  La  Bourdonnais  and  M'Donnell, 
was  dissolved  in  1840  ;  but  shortly  afterwards,  through  the 
exertions  of  Mr.  Staunton,  was  re-formed  under  the  name  of 
the  "  St.  George's  Club,"  in  Cavendish-square. 


269 


Early  Coffee- Houses. 


GOFFEE  is  thus  mentioned  by  Bacon,  in  his  "  Sylva  Syl- 
varum": — "They  have  in  Turkey  a  drink  called  Coffee, 
made  of  a  Berry  of  the  same  name,  as  Black  as  Soot,  and 
of  a  Strong  Sent,  but  not  Aromatical;  which  they  take, 
beaten  into  Powder,  in  Water,  as  Hot  as  they  can  Drink 
it ;  and  they  take  it,  and  sit  at  it  in  their  Coffee  Houses, 
which  are  like  our  Taverns.  The  Drink  comforteth  the 
Brain,  and  Heart,  and  helpeth  Digestion" 

And  in  Burton's  "Anatomy  of  Melancholy,"  part  i., 
sec.  2,  occurs,  "  Turks  in  their  coffee-houses,  which  much 
resemble  our  taverns."  The  date  is  162 1,  several  years 
before  coffee-houses  were  introduced  into  England. 

In  1650,  Wood  tells  us,  was  opened  at  Oxford,  the  first 
coffee-house,  by  Jacobs,  a  Jew,  "  at  the  Angel,  in  the  parish 
of  St.  Peter  in  the  East ;  and  there  it  was,  by  some  who 
delighted  in  novelty,  drank." 

There  was  once  an  odd  notion  prevalent  that  coffee  was 
unwholesome,  and  would  bring  its  drinkers  to  an  untimely 
end.  Yet,  Voltaire,  Fontenelle,  and  Fourcroy,  who  were 
great  coffee-drinkers,  lived  to  a  good  old  age.  Laugh  at 
Madame  de  Sevignd,  who  foretold  that  coffee  and  Racine 
would  be  forgotten  together ! 

A  manuscript  note,  written  by  Oldys,  the  celebrated 
antiquary,  states  that  "  The  use  of  coffee  in  England  was 
first  known  in  1657.  [It  will  be  seen,  as  above,  that  Oldys 
is  incorrect.]  Mr.  Edwards,  a  Turkey  merchant,  brought 
from  Smyrna  to  London  one  Pasqua  Rosee,  a  Ragusan 
youth,  who  prepared  this  drink  for  him  every  morning. 
But  the  novelty  thereof  drawing  too  much  company  to  him, 


270  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

he  allowed  his  said  servant,  with  another  of  his  son-in-law, 
to  sell  it  publicly,  and  they  set  up  the  first  coffee-house  in 
London,  in  St.  Michael's-alley,  in  Cornhill.  The  sign  was 
Pasqua  Rosee's  owii  head."  '■  Oldys  is  slightly  in  error  here  j 
Rosee  commenced  his  coffee-house  in  1652,  and  one  Jacobs, 
a  Jew,  as  we  have  just  seen,  had  established  a  similar  under- 
taking at  Oxford,  two  years  earlier.  One  of  Rosee's 
original  shop  or  hand-bills,  the  only  mode  of  advertising  in 
those  days,  is  as  follows  : — 

"THE  VERTUE  OF  THE  COFFEE  DRINK, 

^^  First  made  and puilickly  sold  in  England  by  Fasqua  Rosee. 

"  The  grain  or  berry  called  coffee,  groweth  upon  httle 
trees  only  in  the  deserts  of  Arabia.  It  is  brought  from 
thence,  and  drunk  generally  throughout  all  the  Grand 
Seigneur's  dominions.  It  is  a  simple,  innocent  thing,  com- 
posed into  a  drink,  by  being  dried  in  an  oven,  and  ground 
to  powder,  and  boiled  up  with  spring  water,  and  about  half 
a  pint  of  it  to  be  drunk  fasting  an  hour  before,  and  not 
eating  an  hour  after,  and  to  be  taken  as  hot  as  possibly  can 
be  endured ;  the  which  will  never  fetch  the  skin  oft  the 
mouth,  or  raise  any  blisters  by  reason  of  that  heat. 

"  The  Turks'  drink  at  meals  and  other  times  is  usually 
water,  and  their  diet  consists  much  of  fruit ;  the  crudities 
whereof  are  very  much  corrected  by  this  drink. 

"  The  quality  of  this  drink  is  cold  and  dry ;  and  though 
it  be  a  drier,  yet  it  neither  heats  nor  inflames  more  than  hot 
posset.  It  so  incloseth  the  orifice  of  the  stomach,  and 
fortifies  the  heat  within,  that  it  is  very  good  to  help 
digestion;  and  therefore  of  great  use  to  be  taken  about 
three  or  four  o'clock  afternoon,  as  well  as  in  the  morning. 
It  much  quickens  the  spirits,  and  makes  the  heart  lightr 
some ;  it  is  good  against  sore  eyes,  and  the  better  if  you 
hold  your  head  over  it  and  take  in  the  steam  that  way.  It 
suppresseth  fumes  exceedingly,  and  therefore  is  good 
against  the  head-ache,  and  will  very  much  stop  any  de- 


EARLY  COFFEE-HOUSES.  2-/1 

fluxion  of  rheums  that  distil  from  the  head  upon  the 
stomach,  and  so  prevent  and  help  consumptions  and  the 
cough  of  the  lungs. 

"It  is  excellent  to  prevent  and  cure  the  dropsy,  gout,* 
and  scurvy.  It  is  known  by  experience  to  be  better  than 
any  other  drying  drink  for  people  in  years,  or  children  that 
have  any  running  humours  upon  them,  as  the  king's  evil, 
&c.  It  is  a  most  excellent  remedy  against  the  spleen, 
hypochondriac  winds,  and  the  like.  It  will  prevent  drow- 
siness, and  make  one  fit  for  business,  if  one  have  occasion 
to  watch,  and  therefore  you  are  not  to  drink  of  it  after 
supper,  unless  you  intend  to  be  watchful,  for  it  will  hinder 
sleep  for  three  or  four  hours. 

"  It  is  observed  that  in  Turkey,  where  this  is  generally 
drunk,  that  they  are  not  troubled  with  the  stone,  gout,  dropsy, 
or  scurvy,  and  that  their  skins  are  exceeding  clear  and  white. 
It  is  neither  laxative  nor  restringent. 

"  Made  and  sold  in  St.  Michael' s-alley,  in  Cornhill,  by 
Pasqua  Rosee,  at  th^  sign  of  Ms  own  head." 

The  new  beverage  had  its  opponents,  as  well  as  its  advo- 
cates. The  following  extracts  from  "An  invective  against 
Coffee,"  published  about  the  same  period,  informs  us  that 
Rosee's  partner,  the  servant  of  Mr.  Edwards's  son-in-law, 
was  a  coachman ;  while  it  controverts  the  statement  that 
hot  coffee  will  not  scald  the  mouth,  and  ridicules  the  broken 
English  of  the  Ragusan : — 

"  A  BROADSIDE  AGAINST   COFFEE. 
"A  coachman  was  the  first  (here)  coffee  made. 
And  ever  since  the  rest  drive  on  the  trade  : 
'  Me  no  good  EngcUash  1 '  and  sure  enough. 
He  played  the  quack  to  salve  his  Stygian  stuff ; 
'  Ver  boon  for  de  stomach,  de  cough,  de  phthisicky 
And  I  believe  him,  for  it  looks  hke  physic. 


*  In  the  French  colonies,  where  Coffee  is  more  used  than  in  the 
English,  Gout  is  scarcely  known. 


ajz  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON: 

Cofifee  a  crust  is  charred  into  a  coal, 
The  smell  and  taste  of  the  mock  china  bowl ; 
Where  huff  and  puff,  they  labour  out  their  lungs. 
Lest,  Dives-like,  they  should  bewail  their  tongues. 
And  yet  they  tell  ye  that  it  will  not  bum, 
Though  on  the  jury  blisters  you  return  ; 
Whose  furious  heat  does  make  the  water  rise, 
And  still  through  the  alembics  of  your  eyes. 
Dread  and  desire,  you  fall  to  't  snap  by  snap, 
As  hungry  dogs  do  scalding  porridge  lap. 
But  to  cure  drunkards  it  has  got  great  fame  ; 
Posset  or  porridge,  will 't  not  do  the  same  ? 
Confusion  hiirries  all  into  one  scene. 
Like  Noah's  ark,  the  clean  and  the  unclean. 
And  now,  alas  !   the  drench  has  credit  got, 
And  he's  no  gentleman  that  drinks  it  not ; 
That  such  a  dwarf  should  rise  to  such  a  stature  ! 
But  custom  is  but  a  remove  from  nature. 
A  little  dish  and  a  large  coffee-house. 
What  is  it  but  a  mountain  and  a  mouse  f 

Notwithstanding  tliis  opposition,  coffee  soon  became  a 
favourite  drink,  and  the  shops  where  it  was  sold,  places  of 
general  resort. 

There  appears  to  have  been  a  great  anxiety  that  the 
Coffee-house,  while  open  to  all  ranks,  should  be  conducted 
under  such  restraints  as  might  prevent  the  better  class  of 
customers  from  being  annoyed.  Acpordingly,  the  following 
regulations,  printed  on  large  sheets  of  paper,  were  hung  up 
in  conspicuous  positions  on  the  walls  :— 

"  EntfT,  Sirs,  freely,  but  first,  if  you  please, 
Peruse  our  civil  orders,  which  are  these. 

First,  gentry,  tradesmen,  all  are  welcome  hither, 
And  may  without  affront  sit  dovrn  together  : 
Pre-eminence  of  place  none  here  should  mind. 
But  take  the  next  fit  seat  that  he  can  find  ; 
Nor  need  any,  if  finer  persons  come, 
Rise  up  for  to  assign  to  them  his  room  ;  , 
To  limit  men's  expense,  we  think  not  fair. 
But  let  him  forfeit  twelve-pence  that  shall  swear 


Four  Swans  Inn,  Bishopsgate  Stieet  Within. 


m        -^ 


■--1  :;■/.  ~^1^  >T'»^ 


Homsey  Wood  House.     {Gun  Clubs  and  Bean  Feasts.) 


GAKRA IVA  Y'S  COFFEE-HOVSZ.  273 

He  that  shall  any  quarrel  here  begin, 
•»  Shall  give  each  man  a  dish  t'  atone  the  sin  ; 

And  so.  shall  he,  whose  compliments  extend 
So  far  to  drink  in  coffee  to  his  friend ; 
Let  noise  of  loud  disputes  be  quite  forborne. 
Nor  maudlin  lovers  here  in  comers  mourn, 
But  all  be  brisk  and  talk,  but  not  too  much  ; 
On  sacred  things,  let  none  presume  to  touch, 
Nor  profane  Scripture,  nor  saucily  wrong 
Affairs  of  state  with  an  irreverent  tongue  : 
Let  mirth  be  innocent,  and  each  man  see 
That  all  his  jests  without  reflection  be  ; 
To  keep  the  house  more  quiet  and  from  blame. 
We  banish  hence  cards,  dice,  and  every  game ; 
Nor  can  allow  of  wagers,  that  exceed 
Five  shillings,  which  ofttimes  do  troubles  breed  ; 
Let  all  that's  lost  or  forfeited  be  spent 
In  such  good  liquor  ss  the  house  doth  vent. 
And  customers  endeavour,  to  their  powers. 
For  to  observe  still,  seasonable  hours. 
Lastly,  let  each  man  what  he  calls  for  pay, 
A  nd  so  you're  welcome  to  come  every  day. 

In  a  print  of  the  period,  five  persons  are  shown  in  a 
coffee-house,  one  smoking,  evidently,  from  their  dresses,  of 
different  ranks  of  hfe  :  they  are  seated  at  a  table,  on  which 
are  small  basins  without  saucers,  and  tobacco-pipes,  while  a 
waiter  is  serving  the  coffee. 

Garraway 's  Coffee-  H  ouse. 

This  noted  Coffee-house,  situated  in  Change-alley,  Corn- 
hill,  has  a  threefold  celebrity  :  tea  was  first  sold  in  England, 
here  ;  it  was  a  place  of  great  resort  in  the  time  of  the  South 
Sea  Bubble ;  and  has  since  been  a  place  of  great  mercantile 
transactions.  The  original  proprietor  was  Thomas  Garway, 
tobacconist  and  coffee-man,  the  first  who  retailed  tea, 
recommending  for  the  cure  of  all  disorders.  The  following 
is  the  substance  of  his  shop  bill : — "  Tea  in  England  hath 
been  sold  in  the  leaf  for  six  pounds,  and  sometimes  for  ten 

T 


274  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

pounds  the  pound  weight,  and  in  respect  of  'its  former 
scarceness  and  dearness,  it  hath  been  only  used  as  a  regalia 
in  high  treatments  and  entertainments,  and  presents  made 
thereof  to  princes  and  grandees  till  the  year  1651.  The 
said  Thomas  Garway  did  purchase  a  quantity  thereof,  and 
first  publicly  sold  the  said  tea  in  leaf  and  drink,  made 
according  to  the  directions  of  the  most  knowing  merchants 
and  travellers  into  those  Eastern  countries  j  and  upon 
knowledge  and  experience  of  the  said  Garway's  continued 
care  and  industry  in  obtaining  the  best  tea,  and  making 
drink  thereof,  very  many  noblemen,  physicians,  merchants, 
and  gentlemen  of  quality,  have  ever  since  sent  to  him  for 
the  said  leaf,  and  daily  resort  to  his  house  in  Exchange- 
alley,  aforesaid,  to  drink  the  drink  thereof;  and  to  the  end 
that  all  persons  of  eminence  and  quality,  gentlemen,  and 
others,  who  have  occasion  for  tea  in  leaf,  may  be  supplied, 
these  are  to  give  notice  that  the  said  Thomas  Garway  hath 
tea  to  sell  from  '  sixteen  to  fifty  shillings  per  pound.'  "  (See 
the  document  entire  in  Ellis's  "Letters,"  series  iv.,  58.) 

Ggilby,  the  compiler  of  the  Britannia,  had  his  standing 
lottery  of  books  at  Mr.  Garway's  Coffee-house  from  April  7, 
1673,  till  wholly  drawn  oif.  And,  in  the  "Journey  through 
England,"  1722,  Garraway's,  Robins's,  and  Joe's,  are  de- 
scribed as  the  three  celebrated  Coffee-houses :  in  th'e  first, 
the  People  of  Quality,  who  have  business  in  the  City,  and 
the  most  considerable  and  wealthy  citizens  frequent.  In  the 
second  the  Foreign  Banquiers,  and  often  even  Foreign 
Ministers.  And  in  the  third,  the  Buyers  and  Sellers  of 
Stock. 

Wines  were  sold  at  Garraway's  in  1673,  "by  the  candle," 
that  is,  by  auction,  while  an  inch  of  candle  bums.  In  the 
Tatler,  No.  147,  we  read  :  "  Upon  my  coming  home  last 
night,  I  found  a  very  handsome  present  of  French  wine  left 
for  me,  as  a  taste  of  216  hogsheads,  which  are  to  be  put  to 
sale '  at  20/.  a  hogshead,  at  Garraway's  Coffee-house,  in 
Exchange-alley,"  &c.     The  sale  by  candle  is  not,  however, 


GARRAWAY'S  COFFEE-HOUSE.  275 

by  candle-light,  but  during  the  day.  At  the  commencement 
of  the  sale,  when  the  auctioneer  has  read  a  description  of 
the  property,  and  the  conditions  on  which  it  is  to  be  dis- 
posed of,  a  piece  of  candle,  usually  an  inch  long,  is  lighted, 
and  he  who  is  the  last  bidder  at  the  time  the  light  goes  out 
is  declared  the  purchaser. 

Swift,  in  his  "Ballad  on  the  South  Sea  Scheme,"  1721, 
did  not  forget  Garraway's  : — 

There  is  a  gulf,  where  thousands  fell, 

Here  all  the  bold  adventurers  came, 

A  narrow  sound,  though  deep  as  hell, 

'Change  alley  is  the  dreadful  name. 

Subscribers  here  by  thousands  float, 

And  jostle  one  another  down, 
Each  paddling  in  his  leaky  boat, 

And  here  they  fish  for  gold  and  drown. 

Now  buried  in  the  depths  below, 

Now  mounted  up  to  heaven  again, 
They  reel  and  stagger  to  and  fro, 

At  their  wits'  end,  like  drunken  men. 

Meantime  secure  on  Garway  cliffs, 

A  savage  race,  by  shipwiecks  fed, 
Lie  waiting  for  the  founder'd  skiffs, 

And  strip  the  bodies  of  the  dead. 

Dr.  Radclifte,  who  was  a  rash  speculator  in  the  South 
Sea  Scheme,  was  usually  planted  at  a  table  at  Garraway's 
about  Exchange  time,  to  watch  the  turn  of  the  market ;  and 
here  he  was  seated  when  the  footman  of  his  powerful  rival, 
Dr.  Edward  Hannes,  came  into  Garraway's  and  inquired, 
Ity  way  of  a  puff,  if  Dr.  H.  was  there.  Dr.  RadclifFe,  who 
was  surrounded  with  several  apothecaries  and  chirurgeons 
that  flocked  about  him,  cried  out,  "  Dr.  Hannes  was  not 
there,"  and  desired  to  know  "who  wanted  him?"  the 
fellow's  reply  was,  "  such  a  lord  and  such  a  lord  ;"  but  he 
was  taken  up  with  the  dry  rebuke,  "  No,  no,  friend,  you  are 
mistaken ;  the  Doctor  wants  those  lords."  One  of  Rad- 
cliffe's  ventures  was  five  thousand  guineas  upon  one  South 

T   3 


276  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

Sea  project.  When  he  was  told  at  Garrawa/s  that  'twas  all 
lost,  "  Why,"  said  he,  "  'tis  but  going  up  five  thousand  pair 
of  stairs  more."  "  This  answer,"  says  Tom  Brown,  "  deserved 
a  statue." 

As  a  Coffee-house,  and  one  of  the  oldest  class,  which  has 
withstood,  by  the  well-acquired  fame  of  its  proprietors,  the 
ravages  of  time,  and  the  changes  that  economy  and  new 
generations  produce,  none  can  be  compared  to  Garraway's. 
This  name  must  be  familiar  with  most  people  in  and  out  of 
the  City ;  and,  notwithstanding  our  disposition  to  make 
allowance  for  the  want  of  knowledge  some  of  our  neighbours 
of  the  West-end  profess  in  relation  to  men  and  things  east 
of  Temple  Bar,  it  must  be  supposed  that  the  noble  person- 
age who  said,  when  asked  by  a  merchant  to  pay  him  a  visit 
in  one  of  these  places,  "  that  he  willingly  would,  if  his  friend 
could  tell  him  where  to  change  horses,"  had  forgotten  this 
establishment,  which  fostered  so  great  a  quantity  of  dis- 
honoured paper,  when  in  other  City  coffee-houses  it  had 
gone  begging  at  \s.  and  2s.  in  the  pound.* 

Garraway's  has  long  been  famous  as  a  sandwich  and 
drinking-room,  for  sherry,  pale  ale,  and  punch.  Tea  and 
coffee  are  still  served.  It  is  said  that  the  sandwich- 
maker  is  occupied  two  hours  in  cutting  and  arranging  the 
sandwiches  before  the  day's  consumption  commences.  The 
sale-room  is  an  old-fashioned  first-floor  apartment,  with  a 
small  rostrum  for  the  seller,  and  a  few  commonly  grained 
settles  for  the  buyers.  Here  sales  of  drugs,  mahogany,  and 
timber  are  periodically  held.  Twenty  or  thirty  property 
and  other  sales  sometimes  take  place  in  a  day.  The  walls 
and  windows  of  the  lower  room  are  covered  with  sale 
placards,  which  are  unsentimental  evidences  of  the  muta- 
bility of  human  affairs. 

"  In  1840  and  1841,  when  the  tea  speculation  was  at  its 
height,  and  prices  were  fluctuating  dd.  and  Zd.  per  pound,  on 


*  The  City,  2nd  edition. 


GARRAWAY'S  COFFEE-HOUSE.  277 

the  arrival  of  every  mail,  Garraway's  was  frequented  every 
night  by  a  host  of  the  smaller  fry  of  dealers,  when  there  was 
more  excitement  than  ever  occurred  on  'Change  when  the 
most  important  intelligence  arrived.  Champagne  and  an- 
chovy toasts  were  the  order  of  the  night ;  and  every  one 
came,  ate  and  drank,  and  went,  as  he  pleased,  without  the 
least  question  concerning  the  score,  yet  the  bills  were 
discharged ;  and  this  plan  continued  for  several  months."— 
The  City. 

Here,  likewise,  we  find  this  redeeming  picture  : — "  The 
members  of  the  little  coterie,  who  take  the  dark  corner 
under  the  clock,  have  for  years  visited  this  house ;  they 
number  two  or  three  old,  steady  merchants,  a  solicitor,  and 
a  gentleman  who  almost  devotes  the  whole  of  his  time  and 
talents  to  philanthropic  objects, — for  instance,  the  getting 
up  of  a  Ball  for  Shipwrecked  Mariners  and  their  families ;  or 
the  organization  of  a  Dinner  for  the  benefit  of  the  Distressed 
Needlewomen  of  the  Metropolis ;  they  are  a  very  quiet 
party,  and  enjoy  the  privilege  of  their  seance,  uninterrupted 
by  visitors." 

We  may  here  mention  a  tavern  of  the  South  Sea  time, 
where  the  "  Globe  permits "  fraud  was  very  successful. 
These  were  nothing  more  than  square  pieces  of  card  on 
which  was  a  wax  seal  of  the  sign  of  the  Globe  Tavern, 
situated  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Change-alley,  with  the  in- 
scription, "Sail-cloth  Permits.''  The  possessors  enjoyed 
no  other  advantage  from  them  than  permission  to  subscribe 
at  some  future  time  to  a  new  sail-cloth  manufactory  pro- 
jected by  one  who  was  known  to  be  a  man  of  fortune,  but 
who  was  afterwards  involved  in  the  peculation  and  punish- 
ment of  the  South  Sea  Directors.  These  permits  sold  for 
as  much  as  sixty  guineas  in  the  Alley. 


278 


Jonathan's  Coffee-Chouse. 

This  is  another  Change-alley  Cofifee-house,  which  is  de- 
scribed in  the  Toiler^  No.  38,  as  "  the  general  mart  of  stock- 
jobbers j"  and  the  Spectator,  No.  i,  tells-  us  that  he  "  some- 
times passes  for  a  Jew  in  the  assembly  of  stock-jobbers,  af 
Jonathan's."  This  was  the  rendezvous,  where  gambling  of 
all  sorts  was  carried  on,  notwithstanding  a  former  prphibi- 
tion  against  the  assemblage  of  the  jobbers,  issued  by  the 
City  of  London,  which  prohibition  continued  unrepealed 
until  1825. 

In  the  "Anatomy  of  Exchange  Alley,"  17 19,  we  read : — 
"  The  centre  of  the  jobbing  is  in  the  kingdom  of  Exchange- 
alley  and  its  adjacencies.  The  limits  are  easily  surrounded 
in  about  a  minute  and  a  half — Viz.,  stepping  out  of  Jona- 
than's into  the  Alley,  you  turn  your  face  full  south ;  moving 
on  a .  few  paces,  ■  and  then  turning  due  east,  you  advance 
to  Garraway's ;  from  thence  going  out  at  the  other  door, 
you  go  on  still  east  into  Birchin-lane ;  and  then  halting  a 
little  at  the  Sword-blade  Bank,  to  do  much  mischief  in 
fewest  words,  you  immediately  face  to  the  north,  enter 
Cornhill,  visit  two  or  three  petty  provinces  there  in  your 
way  west  j  and  thus  having  boxed  your  compass,  and  sailed 
roimd  the  whole  stock-jobbing  globe,  you  turn  into  Jona- 
than's again.;  and  so,  as  most  of  the  great  follies  of  life 
oblige  us  to  do,  yovi  end,  just  where  you  began." 

Mrs.  Centlivre,  in  her  comedy  of  A  Sold  Stroke  for  a 
Wife,  has  a  scene  from  Jonathan's  at  the  above  period : 
while  the  stock-jobbers  are  talking,  the  coffee-boys  are 
crying  "  Fresh  coffee,  gentlemen,  fresh  coffee  !  Bohea  tea, 
gentlemen  1" 

Here  is  another  picture  of  Jonathan's,  during  the  South 
Sea  mania ;  though  not  by  an  eye-witness,  it  groups,  from 
various  authorities,  the  life  of  the  place  and  the  time: — "At 


JONATHAN'S  COFFEE-HOUSE.  279 

a  table  a  few  yards  off  sat  a  couple  of  men  engaged  in  the 
discussion  of  a  newly-started  scheme.  Plunging  his  hand 
impatiently  under  the  deep  silver-buttoned  flap  of  his  frock- 
coat  of  cinnamon  cloth  and  drawing  out  a  paper,  the  more 
business-looking  of  the  pair  commenced  eagerly  to  read  out 
figures  intended  to  convince  the  listener,  who  took  a 
jewelled  snufF-box  from  the  deep  pocket  of  the  green 
brocade  waistcoat  which  overflapped  his  thigh,  and,  tapping 
the  lid,  enjoyed  a  pinch  of  perfumed  Turkish  as  he  leaned 
back  lazily  in  his  chair.  Somewhat  further  oif,  standing  in 
the  middle  of  the  room,  was  a  keen-eyed  lawyer,  counting 
on  his  fingers  the  probable  results  of  a  certain  speculation 
in  human  hair,  to  which  a  fresh-coloured  farmer  from  St. 
Albans,  on  whose  boots  the  mud  of  the  cattle  market  was 
not  dry,  listened  with  a  face  of  stolid  avarice,  clutching  the 
stag-horn  handle  of  his  thonged  whip  as  vigorously  as  if  it 
were  the  wealth  he  coveted.  There  strode  a  Nonconformist 
divine,  with  S.  S.  S.  in  every  line  of  his  face,  greedy  for  the 
gold  that  perisheth ;  here  a  bishop,  whose  truer  place  was 
Garraway's,  edged  his  cassock  through  the  crowd ;  sturdy 
ship-captains,  whose  manners  smack  of  blustering  breezes, 
and  who  hailed  their  acquaintance  as  if  through  a  speaking- 
trumpet  in  a  storm — bookseller's  hacks  from  Grub-street, 
who  were  wont  to  borrow  ink-bottles  and  just  one  sheet  of 
paper  at  the  bar  of  the  Black  Swan  in  St.  Martin's-lane,  and 
whose  tarnished  lace,  when  not  altogether  torn  away,  showed 
a  suspicious  coppery  redness  underneath — ^Jews  of  every 
grade,  from  the  thriving  promoter  of  a  company  for  import- 
ing ashes  from  Spain  or  extracting  stearine  from  sunflower 
seeds  to  the  seller  of  sailor  slops  from  Wapping-in-the-Wose, 
come  to  look  for  a  skipper  who  had  bilked  him — a  sprinkling 
of  well-to-do  merchants — and  a  host  of  those  flashy  hangers- 
on  to  the  skirts  of  commerce,  who  brighten  up  in  days  of 
maniacal  speculation,  and  are  always  ready  to  dispose  of 
shares  in  some  unopened  mine  or  some  untried  invention — 
passed  and  repassed  with  continuous  change  and  murmur 


aSo  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

before  the  squire's  eyes  during  the  quarter  of  an  hour  tnat 
he  sat  ^ert."— Pictures  of  the  Periods,  by  W.  F.  Collier, 
LL.D. 

Rainbow    Coffee-house. 

The  Rainbow,  in  Fleet-street,  appears  to  have  been  the 
second  Coffee-house  opened  in  the  metropolis. 

"  The  first  Coffee-house  in  London,"  says  Aubrey  (MS. 
in  the  Bodleian  Library),  "  was  in  St.  Michael's-alley,  in 
Comhill,  opposite  to  the  church,  which  was  set  up  by  one 
Bowman  (coachman  to  Mr.  Hodges,  a  Turkey  mer- 
chant, who  putt  him  upon  it),  in  or  about  the  yeare  1652. 
'Twas  about  four  yeares  before  any  other  was  sett  up,  and 
that  was  by  Mr.  Farr."    This  was  the  Rainbow. 

Another  account  states  that  one  Edwards,  a  Turkey 
merchant,  on  his  return  from  the  East,  brought  with  him  a 
Ragusian  Greek  servant,  named  Pasqua  Rosee,  who  pre- 
pared coffee  every  morning  for  his  master,  and  with  the 
coachman  above  named  set  up  the  first  Coffee-house  in  St. 
Michael's-alley ;  but  they  soon  quarrelled  and  separated,  the 
coachman  establishing  himself  in  St  Michael's  churchyard. 
■ — (See  pp.  270  and  271,  ante.) 

Aubrey  wrote  the  above  in  1680,  and  Mr.  Farr  had  then 
become  a  person  of  consequence.  In  his  "Lives"  Aubrey 
notes  : — "When  coffee  first  came  in,  Sir  Henry  Blount  was 
a  great  upholder  of  it,  and  hath  ever  since  been  a  great 
frequenter  of  coffee-houses,  especially  Mr.  Farre's,  at  the 
Rainbowe,  by  Inner  Temple  Gate." 

Farr  was  originally  a  barber.  His  success  as  a  coffee- 
man  appears  to  have  annoyed  his  neighbours ;  and  at  the 
inquest  at  St.  Dunstan's,  Dec.  21st,  1657,  among  the  pre- 
sentments of  nuisances  were  the  following : — "  We  present 
James  Farr,  barber,  for  making  and  selling  of  a  drink  called 
coffee,  whereby  in  making  the  same  he  annoyeth  his  neigh- 
bours by  evill  smells ;  and  for  keeping  of  fire  for  the  most 
part  night  and  day,  wherebv  his  chimney  and  chamber  hath 


RAINBOW  COFFEE-HOUSE.  28t 

been  set  on  fire,  to  the  great  danger  and  affrightment  of  his 
neighbours."  However,  Farr  was  not  ousted ;  he  probably 
promised  reform,  or  amended  the  alleged  annoyance  :  he 
remained  at  the  Rainbow,  and  rose  to  be  a  person  of  emi- 
nence and  repute  in  the  parish.  He  issued  a  token,  date 
1666 — an  arched  rainbow  based  on  clouds,  doubtless, 
from  the  Great  Fire — to  indicate  that  with  him  all  was  yet 
safe,  and  the  Rainbow  still  radiant.  There  is  one  of  his 
tokens  in  the  Beaufoy  collection,  at  Guildhall,  and  so  far  as 
is  known  to  Mr.  Burn,  the  rainbow,  does  not  occur  on  any 
other  tradesman's  token.  The  house  was  let  off  into  tene- 
ments :  books  were  printed  here  at  this  very  time  "  for 
Samuel  Speed,  at  the  sign  of  the  Rainbow,  near  the  Inner 
Temple  Gate,  in  Fleet-street."  The  Phoenix  Fire  Office  was 
established  here  about  1682.  Hatton,  in  1708,  evidently 
attributed  Farr's  nuisance  to  the  coffee  itself,  saying :  "  Who 
would  have  thought  London  would  ever  have  had  three 
thousand  such  nuisances,  and  that  coffee  would  have  been 
(as  now)  so  much  drank  by  the  best  of  quality,  and  physi- 
cians ?"  The  nuisance  was  in  Farr's  chimney  and  careless- 
ness, not  in  the  coffee.  Yet,  in  our  statute-book  anno  1660 
(12  Car.  II.  c.  24),  a  duty  of  4(/.  was  laid  upon  every  gallon 
of  coffee  made  and  sold.  A  statute  of  1663  directs  that  all 
Coffee-houses  should  be  licensed  at  the  Quarter  Sessions. 
And  in  1675,  Charles  II.  issued  a  proclamation  to  shut  up 
the  Coffee-houses,  charged  with  being  seminaries  of  sedition; 
but  in  a  few  days  he  suspended  this  proclamation  by  a 
second. 

The  Spectator,  No.  16,  notices  some  gay  frequenters  of 
the  Rainbow : — "  I  have  received  a  letter  desiring  me  to  be 
very  satirical  upon  the  little  muff  that  is  now  in  fashion  ; 
another  informs  me  of  a  pair  of  silver  garters  buckled  below 
the  knee,  that  have  been  lately  seen  at  the  Rainbow  Coffee- 
house in  Fleet-street." 

Mr.  Moncrieff,  the  dramatist,  used  to  tell  that  about  1780, 
this  house  was  kept  by  his  grandfather,  Alexander  Moncrieff, 


282  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LOJ^DON. 

when  it  retained  its  original  title  of  "The  Rainbow  Coffee- 
house." The  old  Coffee-room  had  a  lofty  bay-window,  at 
the  south  end,  lookmg  into  the  Temple  :  and  the  room  was 
separated  from  the  kitchen  only  by  a  glazed  partition :  in 
the  bay  was  the  table  for  the  elders.  The  house  has  long 
been  a  tavern ;  all  the  old  rooms  have  been  swept  away, 
and  a  large  and  lofty  dining-room  erected  in  their  place. 

In  a  paper  read  to  the  British  Archaological  Association, 
by  Mr.  E.  B.  Price,  we  find  coffee  and  canary  thus  brought 
into  interesting  comparison,  illustrated  by  the  exhibition  of 
one  of  Farr's  Rainbow  tokens  ;  and  another  inscribed  "  At 
the  Canary- House  iii  the  Strand,  id.,  1665,"  bearing  also 
the  word  "  Canary  "  in  the  monogram.  Having  noticed  the 
prosecution  of  Farr,  and  his  triumph  over  his  fellow-parish- 
ioners, Mr.  Price  says  : — "  The  opposition  to  coffee  con- 
tinued j  people  viewed  it  with  distrust,  and  even  with  alarm  • 
and  we  can  sympathize  with  them  in  their  alarm,  when  we 
consider  that  they  entertained  a  notion  that  coffee  would 
eventually  put  an  end  to  the  species ;  that  the  genus  homo 
would  some  day  or  other  be  utterly  extinguished.  With  our 
knowledge  of  the  beneficial  effect  of  this  article  on  the  com- 
munity, and  its  almost  universal  adoption  in  the  present  day, 
we  may  smile,  and  wonder  while  we  smile,  at  the  bare  possi- 
bility of  such  a  notion  ever  having  prevailed.  That  it  did 
so,  we  have  ample  evidence  in  the  "  Women's  Petition  against 
Coffee,"  in  the  year  1674,  cited  by  DTsraeli,  "Curiosities  of 
Literature,"  vol.  iv.,  and  in  which  they  complain  that  coffee 
"  made  men  as  unfruitful  as  the  deserts  whence  that  un- 
happy berry  is  said  to  be  brought :  that  the  offspring  of  our 
mighty  ancestors  would  dwindle  into  a  succession  of  apes 
and  pigmies,"  &c.  The  same  authority  gives  us  an  extract 
from  a  very  amusing  poem  of  1663,  in  which  the  writer 
wonders  that  any  man  should  prefer  Coffee  to  Canary,  tenn- 
ing  them  English  apes,  and  proudly  referring  them  to  the 
days  of  Beaumont  and  Fletcher  and  Ben  Jonson.  They, 
says  he, 


RAINBOW  COFFEE-HOUSE.  283 

Drank  pure  nectar  as  the  gods  drink  too 
Sublimed  with  rich  Canary ;  say,  shall  then 
These  less  than  coffee's  self,  these  coffee-men, 
These  sons  of  nothing,  that  can  hardly  make 
Their  broth  for  laughing  how  the  jest  does  take. 
Yet  grin,  and  give  ye  for  the  vine's  pure  blood 
A  loathsome  potion — not  yet  understood, 
Syrup  of  soot,  or  essence  of  old  shoes, 
Dasht  with  diumals  or  the  book  of  news  ? 

One  of  the  weaknesses  of  "rare  Ben"  was  his  penchant 
for  canary.  And  it  would  seem  that  the  Mermaid,  in  Bread- 
street,  was  the  house  in  which  he  enjoyed  it  most : 

But  that  which  most  doth  take  my  muse  and  me. 

Is  a  pure  cup  of  rich  Canary  wine, 

Which  is  the  Mermaid's  now,  but  shall  be  mine. 

Granger  states  that  Charles  I.  raised  Ben's  pension  from 
100  marks  to  100  pounds,  and  added  a  tierce  of  canary, 
which  salary  and  its  appendage,  he  says,  have  ever  since 
been  continued  to  poets  laureate. 

Reverting  to  the  Rainbow  (says  Mr.  Price),  "it  has  been 
frequently  remarked  by  '  tavern-goers,'  that  many  of  our 
snuggest  and  most  comfortable  taverns  are  hidden  from 
vulgar  gaze,  and  unapproachable  except  through  courts, 
blind  alleys,  or  but  half-lighted  passages."  Of  this  descrip- 
tion was  the  house  in  question.  But  few  of  its  many  nightly, 
or  rather  midnightly  patrons  and  frequenters,  knew  aught  of 
it  beyond  its  famed  "  stewed  cheeses,"  and  its  "  stout,"  with 
the  various  "  et  ceteras"  of  good  cheer.  They  little  dreamed, 
and  perhaps  as  little  cared  to  know,  that,  more  than  two 
centuries  back,  the  Rainbow  flourished  as  a  bookseller's 
shop  ;  as  appears  by  the  title-page  of  Trussell's  "  History 
of  England,"  which  states  it  to  be  "printed  by  M.D.,  for 
Ephraim  Dawson,  and  are  to  bee  sold  in  Fleet  Street,  at 
the  signe  of  the  Rainbowe,  neere  the  Inner-Temple 
Gate,  1636." 


284 


Nando's  Coffee-house 

Was  the  house  at  the  east  comer  of  Inner  Temple-lane, 
No.  17,  Fleet-street,  and  next  door  to  the  shop  of  Bernard 
Lintot,  the  bookseller ;  though  it  has  been  by  some  con- 
fused with  Groom's  house.  No.  16.  Nando's  was  the 
favourite  haunt  of  Lord  Thurlow,  before  he  dashed  into  law 
practice.  At  this  Coffee-house  a  large  attendance  of  pro- 
fessional loungers  was  attracted  by  the  fame  of  the  punch 
and  the  charms  of  the  landlady,  which,  with  the  small  wits, 
were  duly  admired  by  and  at  the  bar.  One  evening,  the 
famous  cause  of  Douglas  v.  the  Duke  of  Hamilton  was  the 
topic  of  discussion,  when  Thurlow  being  present,  it  was 
suggested,  half  in  earnest,  to  appoint  him  junior  counsel, 
which  was  done.  This  employment  brought  him  acquainted 
with  the  Duchess  of  Queensberry,  who  saw  at  once  the  value 
of  a  man  like  Thurlow,  and  recommended  Lord  Bute  to 
secure  him  by  a  silk  gown. 

The  house,  formerly  Nando's,  has  been  for  many  years 
a  hairdresser's.  It  is  inscribed  "Formerly  the  palace  of 
Henry  VIII.  and  Cardinal  Wolsey."  The  structure  is  of 
the  time  of  James  I.,  and  has  an  enriched  ceiling  inscribed  P 
(triple  plumed). 

This  was  the  office  in  which  the  Council  for  the  Manage- 
ment of  the  Duchy  of  Cornwall  Estates  held  their  sittings ; 
for  in  the  Calendar  of  State  Papers,  edited  by  Mrs.  Green, 
is  the  following  entry,  of  the  time  of  Charles,  created  Prince 
of  Wales  four  years  after  the  death  of  Henry: — "1619, 
Feb.  25  ;  Prince's  Council  Chamber,  Fleet-street. — Council  of 
the  Prince  of  Wales  to  the  Keepers  of  Brancepeth,  Raby, 
and  Barnard  Castles :  The  trees  blown  down  are  only  to  be 
used  for  mending  the  pales,  and  no  wood  to  be  cut  for  fire- 
wood, nor  browse  for  the  deer." 


28s 


Dick's  Coffee-house. 

This  old  Coffee-house,  No.  8,  Fleet-street  (south  side, 
near  Temple  Bar),  was  originally  "  Richard's,"  named  from 
Richard  Tomer,  or  Turner,  to  whom  the  house  was  let  in 
1680.  The  Coffee-room  retains  its  olden  paneling,  and  the 
staircase  its  original  balusters. 

The  interior  of  Dick's  Coffee-house  is  engraved  as  a 
frontispiece  to  a  drama,  called  The  Coffee-house,  performed 
at  Drury-lane  Theatre  in  1737.  The  piece  met  with  great 
opposition  on  its  representation,  owing  to  its  being  stated 
that  the  characters  were  intended  for  a  particular  family 
(that  of  Mrs.  Yarrow  and  her  daughter),  who  kept  Dick's, 
the  coffee-house  which  the  artist  had  inadvertently  selected 
as  the  frontispiece. 

It  appears  that  the  landlady  and  her  daughter  were  the 
reigning  toast  of  the  Templars,  who  then  frequented  Dick's; 
and  took  the  matter  up  so  strongly  that  they  united  to  con- 
demn the  farce  on  the  night  of  its  production ;  they  suc- 
ceeded, and  even  extended  their  resentment  to  everything 
suspected  to  be  this  author's  (the  Rev.  James  Miller)  for  a 
considerable  time  after. 

Richard's,  as  it  was  then  called,  was  frequented  by 
Cowper,  when  he  lived  in  the  Temple.  In  his  own  account 
of  his  insanity,  Cowper  tells  us  :  "  At  breakfast  I  read  the 
newspaper,  and  in  it  a  letter,  which,  the  further  I  perused 
it,  the  more  closely  engaged  my  attention.  I  cannot  now 
recollect  the  purport  of  it ;  but  before  I  had  finished  it,  it 
appeared  demonstratively  true  to  me  that  it  was  a  libel  or 
satire  upon  me.  The  author  appeared  to  be  acquainted 
with  my  purpose  of  self-destruction,  and  to  have  written 
that  letter  on  purpose  to  secure  and  hasten  the  execution  of 
it.  My  mind,  probably,  at  this  time  began  to  be  disordered ; 
however  it  was,  I  war,  certainly  given  to  a  strong  delusion. 
I  said  within  myself,  '  Your  cruelty  shall  be  gratified ;  you 


286  CL  UB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

shall  have  your  revenge,'  and  flinging  down  the  paper  in  a 
fit  of  strong  passion,  I  rushed  hastily  out  of  the  room; 
directing  my  way  towards  the  fields,  where  I  intended  to 
find  some  house  to  die  in  ;  or,  if  not,  determined  to  poison 
myself;  in  a  ditch,  where  I  could  meet  with  one  sufficiently, 
retired." 

It  is  worth  while  to  revert  to  the  earlier  tenancy  of  the 
Coflfee-house,  which  was,  wholly  or  in  part,  the  original 
printing-office  of  Richard  Tottel,  law-printer  to  Edward  VI., 
Queens  Mary  and  Elizabeth ;  the  premises  were  attached 
to  No.  7,  Fleet-street,  which  bore  the  sign  of  "  The  Hand 
and  Starre,"  where  Tottel  lived,  and  published  the  law  and 
other  works  he  printed.  No.  7  was  subsequently  occupied 
by  Jaggard  and  Joel  Stephens,  eminent  law-printers,  temp. 
Geo.  I. — III. ;  and  at  the  present  day  the  house  is  most 
appropriately  occupied  by  Messrs.  Butterworth,  who  follow 
the  occupation  Tottel  did  in  the  days  of  Edward  VI.,  being 
law-pubUshers  to  Queen  Victoria;  and  they  possess  the 
original  leases,  from  the  earliest  grant,  in  the  reign  of 
Henry  VIII.,  the  period  of  their  own  purchase. 

The  "Lloyd's"  of  the  Time  of  Charles  II. 

During  the  reign  of  Charles  II.,  Coffee-houses  grew  into 
such  favour,  that  they  quickly  spread  over  the  metropolis, 
and  were  the  usual  meeting-places  of  the  roving  cavaliers, 
who  seldom  visited  home  but  to  sleep.  The  following  song, 
from  Jordan's  "Triumphs  of  London,  1675,"  affords  a  very 
curious  picture  of  the  manners  of  the  times,  and  the  sort  of 
conversation  then  usually  met  with  in  a  well-frequented 
house  of  the  sort, — the  "  Lloyd's "  of  the  seventeenth 
century : — 

You  that  delight  in  wit  and  mirth, 

And  love  to  hear  such  news 
That  come  from  all  parts  of  the  earth, 

Turks,  Dutch,  and  Danes,  and  Jews ; 


"LLOYD'S"  IN.  THE  TIME  OF  CHARLES  IL        187 

I'll  send  ye  to  the  rendezvous, 

Where  it  is  smoaking  new ; 
Go  hear  it  at  a  coffee-house. 

It  cannot  but  be  true. 
There  battails  and  sea-fights  are  fought, 

And  bloudy  plots  displaid  ; 
They  know  more  things  than  e'er  was  thought, 

Or  ever  was  bewray'd  : 
No  money  in  the  minting-house 

Is  half  so  bright  and  new  ; 
And  coming  from  the  Coffes-Hotise, 

It  cannot  but  be  true. 

Before  the  navies  fell  to  work, 

They  knew  who  should  be  winner  ; 
They  there  can  tell  ye  what  the  Turk 

Last  Sunday  had  to  dinner. 
Who  last  did  cut  Du  Ruiter's*  corns, 

Amongst  his  jovial  crew  ; 
Or  who  first  gave  the  devil  horns, 

AVhicli  cannot  but  be  true. 

A  fisherman  did  boldly  tell, 

And  strongly  did  avouch, 
He  caught  a  shole  of  mackerell. 

They  parley'd  all  in  Dutch  ; 
And  cry'd  out.  Yaw,  yaw,  yaw,  mine  hare. 

And  as  the  draught  they  drew. 
They  stunk  for  fear  that  Monkt  was  there  : 

This  sounds  as  if  'twere  true. 

There's  nothing  done  in  all  the  world, 

From  monarch  to  the  mouse  ; 
But  every  day  or  night  'tis  hurl'd 

Into  the  coffee-house : 


•  The  Dutch  admiral  who,  in  June,  1667,  dashed  into  the  Downs 
with  a  fleet  of  eighty  sail,  and  many  fire-ships,  blocked  up  the  mouths 
of  the  Medway  and  Thames,  destroyed  the  fortifications  at  Sheemess, 
cut  away  the  paltry  defences  of  booms  and  chains  drawn  across  the 
rivers,  and  got  to  Chatham,  on  the  one  side,  and  nearly  to  Gravesend 
on  the  other,  the  king  having  spent  in  debauchery  the  money  voted  by 
Parliament  for  the  proper  support  of  the  English  navy. 

+  General  Monk  and  Prince  Rupert  were  at  this  time  commanders  of 
the  English  fleet. 


a»8  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

What  Lilly*  or  what  Bookert  cou'd 

By  art  not  bring  about, 
At  Coffee-house  you'll  find  a  brood, 

Can  quickly  find  it  out. 

They  know  who  shall  in  times  to  come, 

Be  either  made  or  undone, 
From  great  St.  Peter's-street  in  Rome, 

To  Tumbal-streett  ™  London. 

They  know  all  that  is  good  or  hurt, 

To  damn  ye  or  to  save  ye  ; 
There  is  the  college  and  the  court, 

The  country,  camp,  and  navy. 
So  great  an  university, 

I  think  there  ne'er  was  any ; 
In  which  you  may  a  scholar  be. 

For  spending  of  a  penny. 

Here  men  do  talk  of  everything. 

With  large  and  liberal  lungs. 
Like  women  at  a  gossiping, 

With  double  tire  of  tongues. 
They'll  give  a  broadside  presently, 

'Soon  as  you  are  in  view  : 
With  stories  that  you'll  wonder  at, 

Which  they  will  swear  are  true. 

•  Lilly  was  the  celebrated  astrologer  of  the  Protectorate,  who  earned 
great  fame  at  that  time  by  predicting,  in  June,  1645,  "  if  now  we  fight, 
a  victory  stealeth  upon  us  :"  a  lucky  guess,  signally  verified  in  the  King's 
defeat  at  Naseby.  Lilly  thenceforth  always  saw  the  stars  favourable  to 
the  Puritans. 

t  This  man  was  originally  a  fishing-tackle-maker  in  Tower-street, 
during  the  reign  of  Charles  I.  ;  but  turning  enthusiast,  he  went  about 
prognosticating  "  the  downfall  of  the  King  and  Popery;"  and  as  he  and 
his  predictions  were  all  on  the  popular  side,  he  became  a  great  man 
with  the  superstitious  "godly  brethren"  of  that  day. 

%  Turnbal,  or  TurnbuU-street,  as  it  is  still  called,  had  been  for  a 
century  previous  of  infamous  repute.  In  Beaumont  and  Fletcher's  play, 
the  Knight  of  the  Burning  Pestle,  one  of  the  ladies  who  is  undergoing 
penance  at  the  barber's,  has  her  character  sufficiently  pointed  out  to  the 
audience,  in  her  declaration,  that  she  had  been  "stolen  from  her  friends 
in  Turnbal-street. " 


LLOYDS  COFFEE-HOUSE.  289 

You  shall  know  there  what  fashions  are, 

How  periwigs  are  curl'd  ; 
And  for  a  penny  you  shall  hear 

All  novels  in  the  world  ; 
Both  old  and  young,  and  great  and  small. 

And  rich  and  poor  you'll  see  ; 
Therefore  let's  to  the  Coffee  all, 

Come  all  away  with  me. 

Lloyd's  Coffee-house. 

Lloyd's  is  one  of  the  earliest  establishments  of  the  kind  j 
it  is  referred  to  in  a  poem  printed  in  the  year  1700,  called 
the  Wealthy  Shopkeeper,  or  Charitable  Christian  : 

Now  to  Lloyd's  coffee-house  he  never  fails, 
To  read  the  letters,  and  attend  the  sales. 

In  1 7 10,  Steele  (Taller,  No.  246)  dates  from  Lloyd's  his 
Petition  on  Coffee-house  Orators  and  Newsvendors.  And 
Addison,  in  Spectator,  April  23,  17 11,  relates  this  droll 
incident : — "  About  a  week  since  there  happened  to  me  a 
very  odd  accident,  by  reason  of  which  one  of  these  my 
papers  of  minutes  which  I  had  accidentally  dropped  at 
Lloyd's  Coffee-house,  where  the  auctions  are  usually  kept. 
Before  I  missed  it,  there  were  a  cluster  of  people  who  had 
found  it,  and  were  diverting  themselves  with  it  at  one  end 
of  the  coffee-house.  It  had  raised  so  much  laughter  among 
them  before  I  observed  what  they  were  about,  that  I  had 
not  the  courage  to  own  it.  The  boy  of  the  coffee-house, 
when  they  had  done  with  it,  carried  it  about  in  his  hand, 
asking  everybody  if  they  had  dropped  a  written  paper ;  but 
nobody  challenging  it,  he  was  ordered  by  those  merry 
gentlemen  who  had  before  perused  it,  to  get  up  into  the 
auction  pulpit,  and  read  it  to  the  whole  room,  that  if 
anybody  would  own  it  they  might.  The  boy  accordingly 
mounted  the  pulpit,  and  with  a  very  audible  voice  read  what 
proved  to  be  minutes,  which  made  the  whole  coffee-house 
very  merry :  some  of  them  concluded  it  was  written  by  a 


29°  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LOh'DON. 

madman,  and  others  by  somebody  that  had  been;taking  notes 
out  of  the  Spectator.  After  it  was  read,  and  the  boy  was 
coming  out  of  the  pulpit,  the  Spectator  reached  his  arm  out, 
and  desired  the  boy  to  give  it  him;  which  was  done 
according.  This  drew  the  whole  eyes  of  the  company  upon 
the  Spectator ;  but  after  casting  a  cursory  glance  over  it,  he 
shook  his  head  twice  or  thriceat  the  reading  of  it,  twisted  it 
into  a  kind  of  match,  and  lighted  his  pipe  with  it.  'My 
profound  silence,'  says  the  Spectator,  '  together  with  the 
stea,diness  of  my  countenance,  and  the  gravity  of  my  be- 
haviour during  the  whole  transaction,  raised  a  very  loud 
laugh  on  all  sides  of  me  ;  but  as  I  had  escaped  all  suspicion 
of  being  the  author,  I  was  very  well  satisfied,  and  applying 
myself  to  my  pipe  and  \h.<t  Postman,  took  no  further  notice 
of  anything  that  passed  about  me.' " 

.  Nothing  is  positively  known  of  the  original  Lloyd ;  but  in 
1750,  there  was  issued  an  Irregular  Ode,  entitled^  Summer's 
Farewell  to  the  Gulph  of  Venice,  in  the  Southwell  Frigate, 
Captain  Manly,  jun.,  commanding,  stated  to  be  "-printed  for 
Lloyd,  well-known  for  obliging  the  public  with,  the  Freshest 
and  Most  Authentic  Ship  News;  and  sold  by  A.  More,  near 
St.  Paul's,  and  at  the  Pamphlet  Shops  in  London  and 
Westminster,  MDCCL."  •■    ■ 

:.  In  the  Gentkjnan's  Magazine,  fori  1740,  we  read  :t— 
"11  March,  1740,'  Mr.  Baker,  Master  of  Lloyd's  CpfF^e- 
house,  in:  Lombard-street,  waited  on  Sir  Robert  Walpolg 
\vith  the  news  of  Admiral  Vernon's  taking  Portobello.  This 
was  the 'first  account '  received  thereof,  and  proving  true.  Sir 
Robert  was  pleased  to  order  him  a  handsome  present." 

Lloyd's  is,  perhaps,  the  oldest  collective  establishment'  in 
the  City.  It  was  first  under  the  management  of  a  single 
individual,  who  .started  it  as  a  room  where,  the  underwriters 
and  insurers  of  ships'  cargoes  could  meet  for  refreshment 
and  conversation.  The  Coffee-house  was  originally  in 
Lombard-street,  at  .the.cornec  of.AbGhurch-Iane;  subse- 
qu^ritly  in,  Pope's-head-alley,i  where  it  was  called    "New 


LLOYD'S  COFFEE-HOUSE.  291 

Lloyd's  Coffee-house;"  but  on  February  14th,  1774,  it  ivas 
removed  to  the  north-west  corner  of  the  Royal  Exchange, 
where  it  remained  until  the  destruction  of  that  building  .by 
fire. 

In  rebuilding  the  Exchange,  a  fine  suite  of.  apartments 
was  provided  for  Lloyd's  "  Subscription  Rooms,"  which  are 
the  rendezvous  of  the  most  eminent  merchants,  Shipowners, 
underwriters,  insurance,  stock,  and  exchange  brokers.  Here 
is  obtained  the  earliest  news  of  the  arrival  and  sailing  of 
vessels,  losses  at  sea,  captures^  recaptures,  engagements,  and 
other  shipping  intelligence ;  and  proprietory  of  ships  and 
fireights  are  insured  by  the. underwriters.  The  rooms  are  in 
the  Venetian  style,,  with  Roman  enrichments.  They  are — 
I.  The  Subscribers'  or  Underwriters',  the  Merchants',  and 
the  Captains'  Room,  At  the  entrance  of  the  room  are 
exhibited  the  Shipping  Lists,  received  from  Lloyds'  agents 
at  home  and  abroad;  and  affording  particulars  of  departures 
or  arrivals  of  vessels,  wrecks,  salvage,  or  sale  of  property 
saved,  etc.  To  the  right  and  left  are  "  Lloyd's  Books,"  two 
enormous  ledgers :  right  hand,  ships  "  spoken  with,''  or 
arrived  at  their  destined  ports  ;  left  hand  :  records  of  wrecks, 
fires,  or  severe  collisions,  written  in  a  fine  Roman  hand,  in 
"  double  lines."  To  assist  the  underwriters  in  their  calcular 
tions,  at  the  end  of  the  room  is  an  Anemometer,  which 
registers  the  state  of  the  wind  day  and  night ;  attached  is  a 
rain-gauge.        :  ■;   -  ' 

The  life  of  the  underwriter  is  one  of  great  anxiety  and 
speculation.  '.'  Among  the  old  stagers_of ,  the  room,  there  is 
often  strong  antipathy  to  the  insurance  of  certain  ships.  In 
the  case  of  one'vessel  it  was  strangely  followed  out.  She 
was  a  steady  trader,  named  after  one  of  the  most  venerable 
members  of  the  room  ;  and  it  was  a  curious  coincidence  that 
he  invariably  refused  to  'write  her'  for  *  a  single  line.' 
Often  he  was  joked  upon  the  subject,  and  pressed  to  '  do  a 
litde'  for  his  namesake ;  but  he  as  often  declined,  shaking 
his   head  in  a  doubtful  manner.     One  morning  the  sub- 

u  2 


292  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

scribers  were  reading  the  '  double  lines,'  or  the  losses,  and 
among  them  was  this  identical  ship,  which  had  gone  to 
pieces,  and  become  a  total  wreck." — "  The  City,"  2nd  edit, 
1848. 

The  Merchants'  Room  is  superintended  by  a  master,  "who 
can  speak  several  languages  :  here  are  duplicate  copies  of 
the  books  in  the  Underwriters'  Room,  and  files  of  English 
and  foreign  newspapers. 

The  Captains'  Room  is  a  kind  of  coffee-room,  where 
merchants  and  ship-owners  meet  captains,  and  sales  of  ships, 
etc.,  take  place. 

The  members  of  Lloyd's  have  ever  been  distinguished  by 
their  loyalty  and  benevolent  spirit.  In  1802,  they  voted 
2000/.  to  the  Life-boat  subscription.  On  July  20,  1803,  at 
the  invasion  panic,  they  commenced  the  Patriotic  Fund 
with  20,000/.  3-per-cent.  Consols;  besides  70,312/.  is. 
individual  subscriptions,  and  15,000/.  additional  donations. 
After  the  battle  of  the  Nile,  in  1798,  they  collected  for  the 
widows  and  wounded  seamen  32,423/. ;  and  after  Lord 
Howe's  victory,  June  i,  1794,  for  similar  purposes,  21,281/. 
They  have  also  contributed  5000/.  to  the  London  Hospital ; 
1000/  for  the  suffering  inhabitants  of  Russia  in  1813 ;  1000/. 
for  the  relief  of  the  militia  in  our  North  American  colonies, 
18 13;  and  10,000/.  for  the  Waterloo  subscription,  in  18 15. 
The  Committee  vote  medals  and  rewards  to  those  who 
distinguish  themselves  in  saving  life  from  shipwreck. 

Some  years  since,  a  member  of  Lloyd's  drew  from  the 
books  the  following  lines  of  names  contained  therein : — 

A  Black  and  a  White,  with  a  Brown  and  a  Green, 
And  also  a  Gray  at  Lloyd's  room  may  be  seen  ; 
With  Parson  and  Clark,  then  a  Bishop  and  Pryor, 
And  Water,  how  Strange  adding  fuel  to  fire  ; 
While,  at  the  same  time,  'twill  sure  pass  belief, 
There's  a  Winter,  a  Garland,  Furze,  Bud,  and  a  Leaf; 
With  Freshfield,  and  Greenhill,  Lovegrove,  and  a  Dale ; 
Though  there's  never  a  Breeze,  there's  always  a  Gale. 


THE  JERUSALEM  COFFEE-HOUSE.  293 

No  music  is  there,  though  a  Whistler  and  Harper  ; 

There's  a  Blunt  and  a  Sharp,  many  flats,  but  no  sharper. 

There's  a  Danniell,  a  Samuel,  a  Sampson,  an  Abell ; 

The  first  and  the  last  write  at  the  same  table. 

Then  there's  Virtue  and  Faith  there,  with  Wylie  and  Rasch, 

Disagreeing  elsewhere,  yet  at  Lloyd's  never  clash. 

There's  a  Long  and  a  Short,  Small,  Little,  and  Fatt, 

With  one  Robert  Dewar,  who  ne'er  wears  his  hat : 

No  drinking  goes  on,  though  there's  Porter  and  Sack, 

Lots  of  Scotchmen  there  are,  beginning  with  Mac  ; 

Macdonald,  to  wit,  Macintosh  and  McGhie, 

McFarquhar,  McKenzie,  McAndrew,  Mackie. 

An  evangelized  Jew,  and  an  infidel  Quaker  ; 

There's  a  Bunn  and  a  Pye,  with  a  Cook  and  a  Baker, 

Though  no  Tradesmen  or  Shopmen  are  found,  yet  herewith 

Is  a  Taylor,  a  Saddler,  a  Paynter,  a  Smyth  ; 

Also  Butler  and  Chapman,  with  Butter  and  Glover, 

Come  up  to  Lloyd's  room  their  bad  risks  to  cover. 

Fox,  Shepherd,  Hart,  Buck,  likewise  come  every  day  ; 

And  though  many  an  ass,  there  is  only  one  Bray. 

There  is  a  Mill  and  Miller,  A-dam  and  a  Poole, 

A  Constable,  Sheriff,  a  Law,  and  a  Rule. 

There's  a  Newman,  a  Niemann,  a  Redman,  a  Pitman, 

Now  to  rhyme  with  the  last,  there  is  no  other  fit  man. 

These,  with  Young,  Cheap,  and  Lent,  Luckie,  Hastie,  and  Slow, 

With  dear  Mr.  Allnutt,  Allfrey,  and  Auldjo, 

Are  all  the  queer  names  that  at  Lloyd's  I  can  show. 

Many  of  these  individuals  are  now  deceased;  but  a 
frequenter  of  Lloyd's  in  former  years  will  recognize  the 
persons  mentioned. 

The  Jerusalem  Coffee-house, 

Comhill,  is  one  of  the  oldest  of  the  City  news-rooms,  and  is 
frequented  by  merchants  and  captains  connected  with  the 
commerce  of  China,  India,  and  Australia. 

"  The  subscription-room  is  well-furnished  with  files  of  the 
principal  Canton,  Hongkong,  Macao,  Penang,  Singapore, 
Calcutta,  Bombay,  Madras,  Sydney,  Hobart  Town,  Laun- 
ceston,   Adelaide,    and    Port  Phillip   papers,   and    Prices 


294  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

Current :  besides  shipping  lists  and  papers  from  the  various 
intermediate  stations  or  ports  touched  at,  as  St.  Helena,  the 
Cape  of  Good  Hope,  etc.  The  .books  of  East  India 
shipping  include  arrivals,  departures,  casualties,  etc.  The 
full  business  is  between  two  and  three  o'clock,  p.m.  In 
1845,  John  Tawell,  the  Slough  murderer,  was  capturdd  at 
[traced  to]  the  Jerusalem,  which  he  was  in  the  habit  of 
visiting,  to  ascertain  information  of  the  state  of  his  property 
in  Sydney."—"  The  City,"  2nd  edit.,  1848. 

Baker's  Coffee-house, 

Change-alley,  is  remembered  as  a  tavern  some  forty  years 
since.  The  landlord,  after  whom  it  is  named,  may  possibly 
have  been  a  descendant  from  "  Baker,"  the  master  of 
Lloyd's  Rooms.  It  has  been,  for  many  years,  a  chop- 
house,  with  direct  service  from  the  gridiron,  and  upon 
pewter ;  though  on  the  first-floor,  joint  dinners  are  served : 
its  post-prandial  punch  was  formerly  much  drunk.  In  the 
lower  room  is  a,  portrait  of  James,  thirty-five  years  waiter  here. 

Coffee-houses  in  Ned  Ward's  Time. 

Of  Ward's  "  Secret  History  "  of  the  Clubs  of  his  time  we 
have  already  given  several  specimens.  Little  is  known  of 
him  personally.  Hewaj,  probably,  born  in  1660,  and  early 
in  life  he  visited  the  West  Indies.  Some  time  before  1669, 
he  kept  a  tavern  and  punch-house, "next  door  to  Gray's  Inn, 
of  which  we  shall  speak  hereafter.  His  works  are  now 
rarely  to  be  met  with.  His  doggrel  secured  him  a  place  in 
the  Dunciad,  where  not  only  his  elevation  to  the  pillory  is 
mentioned,  but  the  fact  is  also  alluded  to  that  his  produc- 
tions were  extensively  shipped  to  the  Plantations  or  Colonies 
of  those  days, — 

Nor  sail  with  Ward  to  ape-and-monkey  climes^ 
Where  vile  mundungus  trucks  for  viler  rhymes, 


COFFEE-HOUSES  W.  NED  WARD'S  TIME.  295 

the  only  places,  probably,  where  they  were  extensively 
read.  In  return  for  the  doubtful  celelDrity  thus  conferred 
upon  his  rhymes,  he  attacked  the  satirist  in  a  wretched  pro- 
duction, intituled  "  Apollo's  Maggot  in  his  Cups  ;"  his  expir- 
ing effort,  probably,  for  he  died  on  the  22nd  of  June,  1731. 
His  remains  were  buried  in  the  churchyard  of  Old  St.  Pancras, 
his  body  being  followed  to  the  grave  solely  by  his  wife  and 
daughter,  as  directed  by  him  in  his  poetical  will,  written 
some  six  years  before,  We  learn  from  Noble  that  there  are 
no  less  than  four  engraved  portraits  of  Ned  Ward.  The 
structure  of  the  "  London  Spy,"  the  only  work  of  his  that 
at  present  comes  under  oui'  notice,  is  simple  enough.  The 
author  is  self-personified  as  a  countryman,  who,  tired  with 
his  "  tedious  confinement  to  a  country  hutt,"  comes  up  to 
London;  where  he  fortunately  meets  with  a  quondam 
schoolfellow, — a  "  man  about  town,"  in  modern  phrase, — 
who  undertakes  to  introduce  him  to  the  various  scenes, 
sights,  and  mysteries  of  the,  even  then,  "  great  metropolis :" 
much  like  the  visit,  in  fact,  from  Jerry  Hawthorn  to  Corin- 
thian Tom,  only  anticipated  by  some  hundred  a;nd  twenty 
years.  "  We  should  not  be  at  all.  surprised  (says  the  Gentle- 
-maiis  Magazine)  to  find  that  the  stirring  scenes  of  Pierce 
Egan's  '  Life  in  London '  were  first ;  suggested  by  more 
homely  pages  of  the  '  London  Spy.' " 

At  the  outset  of  the  work  we  have  a  description — not  a 
very  flattering  one,  certainly — of  a  common  coffee-house  of 
the  day,  one  of  the  many  hundreds  with  which  London  then 
teemed.  Although  coffee  had  been  only  known  in  England 
some  fifty  years,  coffee-houses  were  already  among  the  most 
favourite  institutions  of  the  land;  though  they  had  not  as 
yet  attained  the  political  importance  which  they  acquired  in 
the  days  of  the  Tatier  and  Spectator,  some  ten  or  twelve 
years  later : — 

" '  Come,'  says  my  friend,  '  let  us  step  into  this  coffee- 
house here  ;  as  you  are  a  stranger  in  the  town,  it  will  afford 


296  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

you  some  diversion.'  Accordingly,  in  we  went,  where  a 
parcel  of  muddling  muckworms  were  as  busy  as  so  many 
rats  in  an  old  cheese-loft ;  some  going,  some  coming,  some 
scribbling,  some  talking,  some  drinking,  some  smoking, 
others  jangling;  and  the  whole  room  stinking  of  tobacco, 
like  a  Dutch  scoot  [schuyt],  or  a  boatswain's  cabin.  The 
walls  were  hung  round  with  gilt  frames,  as  a  farrier's  shop 
with  horse-shoes ;  which  contained  abundance  of  rarities, 
viz..  Nectar  and  Ambrosia,  May-dew,  Golden  Elixirs, 
Popular  Pills,  Liquid  Snuff,  Beautifying  Waters,  Dentifrices, 
Drops,  and  Lozenges  ;  all  as  infallible  as  the  Pope,  '  Where 
every  one  (as  the  famous  Saffold°  has  it)  above  the  rest, 
Deservedly  has  gain'd  the  name  of  best:'  every  medicine 
being  so  catholic,  it  pretends  to  nothing  less  than  univer- 
sality. So  that,  had  not  my  friend  told  me  'twas  a  coffee- 
house, I  should  have  taken  it  for  Quacks'  Hall,  or  the 
parlour  of  some  eminent  mountebank.  We  each  of  us 
stuck  in  our  mouths  a  pipe  of  sotweed,  and  now  began  to 
look  about  us.'' 

A  description  of  Man's  Coffee-house,  situate  in  Scotland- 
yard,  near  the  water-side,  is  an  excellent  picture  of  a 
fashionable  coffee-house  of  the  day.  It  took  its  name  from 
the  proprietor,  Alexander  Man,  and  was  sometimes  known 
as  Old  Man's,  or  the  Royal  Coffee-house,  to  distinguish  it 
from  Young  Man's  and  ]  ,itlle  Man's,  minor  establishments 
in  the  neighbourhood  : — 

"  We  now  ascended  a  pair  of  stairs,  which  brought  us 
into  an  old-fashioned  room,  where  a  gaudy  crowd  of 
odoriferous  Tom-Essences  were  walking  backwards  and 
^forwards  with  their  hats  in  their  hands,  not  daring  to  con- 
vert them  to  their  intended  use,  lest  it  should  put  the 
•  foretops  of  their  wigs  into  some  disorder.  We  squeezed 
through  till  we  got  to  the  end  of  the  room,  where,  at  a 
small  table,  we  sat  down,  and  observed  that  it  was  as  great 
a  rarity  to  hear  anybody  call  for  a  dish  of  Politiciaris  por- 
ridge, or  any  other  liquor,  as  it  is  to  hear  a  beau  call  for  a 


COFFEE-HOUSES  OF  EIGHTEENTH  CENTURY.    297 

pipe  of  tobacco ;  their  whole  exercise  being  to  charge  and 
discharge  their  nostrils,  and  keep  the  curls  of  their  periwigs 
in  their  proper  order.  The  clashing  of  their  snush-box  lids, 
in  opening  and  shutting,  made  more  noise  than  their 
tongues.  Bows  and  cringes  of  the  newest  mode  were  here 
exchanged,  'twixt  friend  and  friend,  with  wonderful  exact- 
ness. They  made  a  humming  like  so  many  hornets  in  a 
country  chimney,  not  with  their  talking,  but  with  their 
whispering  over  their  new  Minuets  and  Bories,  with  their 
hands  in  their  pockets,  if  only  freed  from  their  snush-box. 
We  now  began  to  be  thoughtful  of  a  pipe  of  tobacco ; 
whereupon  we  ventured  to  call  for  some  instruments  of 
evaporation,  which  were  accordingly  brought  us,  but  with 
such  a  kind  of  unwillingness,  as  if  they  would  much  rather 
have  been  rid  of  our  company  ;  for  their  tables  were  so  very 
neat,  and  shined  with  rubbing,  like  the  upper-leathers  of  an 
alderman's  shoes,  and  as  brown  as  the  top  of  a  country 
housewife's  cupboard.  The  floor  was  as  clean  swept  as  a 
Sir  Courtly's  dining-room,  which  made  us  look  round,  to  see 
if  there  were  no  orders  hung  up  to  impose  the  forfeiture  of 
so  much  Mop-money  upon  any  person  that  should  spit  out 
of  the  chimney-comer.  Notwithstanding  we  wanted  an 
example  to  encourage  us  in  our  porterly  rudeness,  we 
ordered  them  to  light  the  wax-candle,  by  which  we  ignified 
our  pipes  and  blew  about  our  whiffs ;  at  which  several  Sir 
Foplins  drew  their  faces  into  as  many  peevish  wrinkles,  as 
the  beaux  at  the  Bow-street  Coffee-house,  near  Covent- 
garden,  did,  when  the  gentleman  in  masquerade  came  in 
amongst  them,  with  his  oyster-barrel  muff  and  turnip- 
buttons,  to  ridicule  their  fopperies." 

Coffee-houses  of  the  Eighteenth  Century. 

A  cabinet  picture  of  the  Coffee-house  life  of  a  century 
and  a  half  since,  is  thus  given  in  the  well-known  "  Journey 
through  England,"  in  1 714:  "  I  am  lodged,"  says  the  tourisli 


298  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

"  ill  the  street  called  Pall  Mall,  the  ordinary  residence  of  all 
strangers,  because  of  its  vicinity  to  the  Queen's  Palace,  the 
Park,  the  Parliament'House,  the  Theatres,  and  the  Choco- 
late and  Coffee-houses,  where  the  best  company  frequent. 
If  you  would  know  our  manner  of  living,  'tis  thus  :  wq  rise 
by  nine,  and  those  that  frequent  great  men's  levees,  find 
entertainment  at  them  till  eleven,  or,  as  in  Holland,  go  to 
tea-tables;  aboiit  twelve  the  beau  tnonde zs&txiAAt  in  several 
Coffee  or  Chocolate  houses :  the  best  of  which  are  the  Cocoa- 
tree  and  White's  Chocolate-houses,  St.  James's,  the  Smyrna, 
Mrs.  Rochford'sj  and  the  British  Coffee-houses;  and  all 
these  so  near  one  another,  that  in  less  than  an  hour  you  see 
the  company  of  them  all.  We  are  carried  to  these  places  in 
chairs  (or  sedans),  which  are  here  very  cheap,  a  guinea  a  week, 
or  a  shining  per  hour,  and  your  chairmen  serve  you  for 
porters  to  run  on  errands,  as  your  gondoliers  do  at  Venice. 

"  If  it  be  fine  weather,  we  take  a  tupn  into  the  Park  till 
two,  when  we  go  to  dinner ;  and  if  it  be  dirty,  you  are  enter- 
tained at  piquet  or  basset  at  White's,  or  you  may  talk  politics 
at  the  Smyrna  or  St.  James's.  I  must  not  forget  to  tell  you 
that  the  parties  have  their  different  places,  where,  however, 
a  stranger  is  always  well  received ;  but  a  Whig  will  no  more 
go  to  the  Cocoa-tree  or  Ozinda's,  than  a  Tory  will  be  seen 
at  the  Coffee-house,  St.  James's. 

"  The  Scots  go  generally  to  the  British,  and  a  mixture  of 
all  sorts  to  the  Smyrna.  There  are  other  little  Coffee-houses 
much  frequented  in  this  neighbourhood, — Young,  Man's  for 
officers.  Old  Man's  for  stock-jobbers,  paymasters,  and 
courtiers,  and  Little  Man's  for  sharpers.  I  never  was  so 
confounded  in  my  life  as  when  I  entered  into  this  last:  I 
saw  two  or  three  tables  full  at  faro,  heard  the  box  and  dice 
rattling  in  the  room  above  stairs,  and  was  surrounded  by  a 
set  of  sharp  faces,  that  I  was  afraid  would  have  devoured 
me  with  their  eyes.  I  was  glad  to  drop  two  or  three  half- 
crowns  at  faro  to  get  off  with  a  clear  skin,  and  was  over- 
joyed I  so  got  rid  of  them. 


COFFEE-HOUSES  OF  EIGHTEENTH  CENTURY.    299 

"  At  two,  we  generally  go  to  dinner ;  ordinaries  are  not  so 
common  here  as  abroad,  yet  the  French  have  set  up  two  or 
three  good  ones  for  the  convenience  of  foreigners  in  Suifolk- 
street,  where  one  is  tolerably  well  served ;  but  the  general 
way  here  is  to  make  a  party  at  the  Coffee-house  to  go  to 
dine  at  the  tavern,  where  we  sit  till  six,  when  we  go  to  the 
play;  except  you  are  invited  to  the  table  of  some  great  man, 
which  strangers  are  always  courted  to,  and  nobly  enter- 
tained." 

We  may  here  group  the  leading  Coffee-houses,*  the  prin- 
cipal of  which  will  be  more  fully  described  hereafter  : 

"Before  1715,  the  number  of  Coffee-houses  in  London 
was  reckoned  at  two  thousand.  Every  profession,  trade, 
class,  party,  had  its  favourite  Coffee-house.  The  lawyers 
discussed  law  or  literature,  criticized  the  last  new  play,  or 
retailed  the  freshest  Westminster  Hall  'bite'  at  Nando's 
or  the  Grecian,  both  close  on  the  purlieus  of  the  Temple. 
Here  the  young  bloods  of  the  Inns-of-Court  paraded  their 
Indian  gowns  and  lace  caps  of  a  morning  ;  and  swaggered 
in  their  lace  coats  and  Mechlin  ruffles  at  night,  after 
the  theatre.  The  Cits  met  to  discuss  the  rise  and  fall  of 
stocks,  and  to  settle  the  rate  of  insurance,  at  Garraway's  or 
Jonathan's ;  the  parsons  exchanged  university  gossip,  or 
commented  on  Dr.  Sacheverel's  last  sermon  at  Truby's  or  at 
Child's  in  St.  Paul's  Churchyard ;  the  soldiers  mustered  to 
grumble  over  their  grievances  at  Old  or  Young  Man's,  near 
Charing  Cross;  the  St.  James's  and  the  Smyrna  were  the 
head-quarters  of  the  Whig  politicians,  while  the  Tories 
frequented  the  Cocoa-tree  or  Ozinda's,  all  in  St.  James's- 
street ;  Scotchmen  had  their  house  of  call  at  Forrest's, 
Frenchmen  at  Giles's  or  Old  Slaughter's,  in  St.  Martin's- 
lane  ;  the  gamesters  shook  their  elbows  in  White's  and  the 
Chocolate-houses  round  Covent  Garden ;  the  virtuosi 
honoured  the  neighbourhood  of  Gresham  College ;  and  the 


*  From  the  National  Eeview,  No.  8. 


300  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

leading  wits  gathered  at  Will's,  Button's,  or  Tom's,  in  Great 
Russell-street,  where  after  the  theatre  was  playing  at  piquet 
and  the  best  of  conversation  till  midnight.  At  all  these 
places,  except  a  few  of  the  most  aristocratic  Coifee  or  Choco- 
late-houses of  the  West-End,  smoking  was  allowed.  A  penny- 
was  laid  down  at  the  bar  on  entering,  and  the  price  of  a  dish 
of  tea  or  coffee  seems  to  have  been  two-pence  :  this  charge 
covered  newspapers  and  lights.  The  established  frequenters 
of  the  house  had  their  regular  seats,  and  special  attention 
from  the  fair  lady  at  the  bar,  and  the  tea  or  coffee  boys. 

"  To  these  Coffee-houses  men  of  all  classes,  who  had  either 
leisure  or  money,  resorted  to  spend  both;  and  in  them, 
politics,  play,  scandal,  criticism,  and  business,  went  on  hand- 
in-hand.  The  transition  from  Coffee-house  to  Club  was  easy. 
TJius  Tom's,  a  Coffee-house  till  1764,  in  that  year,  by  a 
guinea  subscription,  among  nearly  seven  hundred  of  the 
nobility,  foreign  ministers,  gentry,  and  geniuses  of  the  age, 
became  the  place  of  meeting  for  the  subscribers  exclusively.* 
In  the  same  way.  White's  and  the  Cocoa-tree  changed  their 
character  from  Chocolate-house  to  Club.  When  once  a 
house  had  customers  enough  of  standing  and  good  repute, 
and  acquainted  with  each  other,  it  was  quite  worth  while — 
considering  the  characters  who,  on  the  strength  of  assurance, 
tolerable  manners,  and  a  laced  coat,  often  got  a  footing  in 
these  houses  while  they  continued  open  to  the  public,  to 
purchase  power  of  excluding  all  but  subscribers." 

Thus,  the  chief  places  of  resort  were  at  this  period  Coffee 
and  Chocolate-houses,  in  which  some  men  almost  lived,  as 
they  do  at  the  present  day,  at  their  Clubs.  Whoever  wished 
to  find  a  gentleman  commonly  asked,  not  where  he  resided,- 
but  which  coffee-house  he  frequented.  No  decently  attired 
idler  was  excluded,  provided  he  laid  down  his  penny  at  the 
Tjar ;  but  this  he  could  seldom  do  without  strugghng  through 


*  We  question  whether  the  CofTee-house  general  business  was  entirely 
£iven  up  immediately  after  the  transition. 


COFFEE-HOUSES  OF  EIGHTEENTH  CENTURY.    301 

the  crowd  of  beaux  who  fluttered  round  the  lovely  bar-maid. 
F-.r-  the  proud  nobleman  or  country  squire  was  not  to  be 
distinguished  from  the  genteel  thief  and  daring  highwayman. 
"  Pray,  sir,"  says  Aimwell  to  Gibbet,  in  Farquhar's  Beaux 
Stratagem,  "  ha'n't  I  seen  your  face  at  Will's  Coffee-house  ?" 
The  robber's  reply  is :  "  Yes,  Sir,  and  at  White's  too." 

Three  of  Addison's  papers  in  the  Spectator,  (Nos.  402,  481, 
and  568,)  are  humorously  descriptive  of  the  Coffee-houses 
of  this  period.  No.  403  opens  with  the  remark  that  "  the 
courts  of  two  countries  do  not  so  much  differ  from  one 
another,  as  the  Court  and  the  City,  in  their  pecuKar  ways  of 
life  and  conversation.  In  short,  the  inhabitants  of  St. 
James's,  notwithstanding  they  live  under  the  same  laws,  and 
speak  the  same  language,  are  a  distinct  people  from  those  of 
Cheapside,  who  are  likewise  removed  from  those  of  the 
Temple  on  the  one  side,  and  those  of  Smithfield  on  the 
other,  by  several  climates  and  degrees  in  their  way  of  think- 
ing and  conversing  together."  For  this  reason,  the  author 
takes  a  ramble  through  London  and  Westminster,  to  gather 
the  opinions  of  his  ingenious  countrymen  upon  a  current 
report  of  the  King  of  France's  death.  "  I  know  the  faces 
of  all  the  principal  politicians  within  the  bills  of  mortality  ; 
and  as  every  Coffee-house  has  some  particular  statesman  be- 
longing to  it,  who  is  the  mouth  of  the  street  where  he  lives, 
I  always  take  care  to  place  myself  near  him,  in  order  to 
know  his  judgment  on  the  present  posture  of  affairs.  And, 
as  I  foresaw,  the  above  report  would  produce  a  new  face  of 
things  in  Europe,  and  many  curious  speculations  in  our 
British  Coffee-houses,  I  was  very  desirous  to  learn  the 
thoughts  of  our  most  eminent  politicians  on  that  occasion. 

"  That  I  might  begin  as  near  the  fountain-head  as  possible^ 
I  first  of  all  called  in  at  St.  James's,  where  I  found  the  whole 
outward  room  in  a  buzz  of  politics ;  the  speculations  were 
but  very  indifferent  towards  the  door,  but  grew  finer  as  you 
advanced  to  the  upper  end  of  the  room,  and  were  so  much 
improved  by  a  knot  of  theorists,  who  sat  in  the  inner  room, 


302  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

within  the  steams  of  the  i  coffee-pot,  that  I  there  heard  the 
whole  Spanish  monarchy  disposed  of,  and  all  the  line  of 
Bourbons  provided  for  in  less  than  a  quarter  of  an  hour. 

"  I  afterwards  called  in  at  Giles's,  where  I  saw  a  board 
of  French  gentlemen  sitting  upon  the  life  and  death  of  their 
grand  monaique.  Those  among  them. who  had  espoused 
the  Whig-  interest  very  positively  affirmed  that  he  had 
departed  this  life  about  a  week  since,  and  therefore,  pro- 
ceeded without  any  further  delay  to  the  release  of  their 
friends  in  the  galleys,  and  to  their  own  re-establishment ; 
but,  finding  they  could  not  agree  among  themselves,  I  pro- 
ceeded on' my  intended  progress. 

"  Upon  my  arrival  at  Jenny  Man's  I  saw  an  alert  young 
fellow  that  cocked  his  hat  upon  a  friend  of  his,  who  entered 
just  at  the  same  time  with  myself,  and  accosted  him  after 
the  following  manner  :  'Well,  Jack,  the  old  prig  is  dead  at 
last.  Sharp's  the  word.  Now  or  never,  boy.  Up  to  the 
walls  of  Paris,  directly  /  with  several  other  deep  reflections 
of  the  same  nature. 

"  I  met  with  very  little  variation  in  the  politics  between 
Charing  Cross  and  Covent  Garden.  And,  upon  my  going 
into  Will's,  I  found  their  discourse  was  gone  off,  from  the 
death  of  the  French  King,  to  that  of  Monsieur  Boileau, 
Racine,  Corneille,  and  several  other  poets,  whom  they 
regretted  on  this  occasion  as  persons  who  would  have 
obliged  the  world  with  very  noble  elegies  on  the  death  of  so 
great  a  prince,-  and  so  eminent  a  patron  of  learning. 

"  At  a  Coffee-house  near  the  Temple,  I  found  a  couple  of 
young  -gentlemen  engaged  ■  very  smartly  in  a  dispute  on  the 
succession  to  the  Spanish  monarchy.  One  of  them  seemed 
to  have. been  retained- as  advocate  for  the  Duke  of  Anjou, 
the  other  for  his  Imperial  Majesty.  They  were  both  for 
regarding  the  title  to  that  kingdom  by  the  statute  laws  of 
England  <  but  finding  them  going  out  of  my  depth,  I. 
pressed -forward:  to  Paul's  Churchyard,  where  I  listened  with 
great  attention -to  a  learned  man,  who  gave  the  company  an 


COFFEE-HOUSES  OF  EIGHTEENTH  CENTURY.     303 

account  of  the  deplorable  -slate  of  France  during  the 
minority  of  the  deceased  King. 

"  I  then  turned  on  my  right  hand  into  Fish-street,  where 
the  ohief  politician  of  that  quarter,  upon  hearing  the  news, 
(after  having  taken  a  pipe  of  tobacco,  and  ruminated  for 
some  time,)  'If,'  says  he,  '  the 'King  of  France  is  certainly 
dead,  we  shall  have  plenty  of  mackerel  this  season :  our 
fishery  will  not  be  disturbed  by  privateers,  as  it  has  been  for 
these  ten  years  past'  He  afterwards  considered  how  the 
death  of  this  great  man  would  affect  our  pilchards,  and  by 
several  other  remarks  infused  a  general  joy  into  his  whole 
audietice. 

"  I  afterwards  entered  a  by-coffee-liouse  that  stood  at  the 
upper  end  of  a  narrow  lane,  where  I  met  with  a  conjuror 
engaged  very  warmly  with  a  laceman  who  was  the  great  sup- 
port of  a  neighbouring  conventicle.  The  matter  in  debate 
was  whether  the  late  French  King  was  most  like  Augustus 
Csesar,  or  Nero.  The  controversy  was  carried  on  with  great 
heat  on  both  sides,  and  as  each  of  them  looked  upon  me 
very  frequently  during  the  course  of  their  debate,  I  was 
"under  sonie  apprehension  that  they  would -appeal  tome,  and 
therefore  laid  down  my  penniy  at  the  bar,  and  made  the  best 
of  my  way  to  Cheapside. 

"I  here  gazed  upon  the  signs  for  some  time  before  I 
"fouiid  one  to  rny  purpose.  The  first  object  I  met  in'  the 
coffee-room  was  a  person  who  expressed  a  great  grief  for  the 
death  of  the  French  King ;  but  upon  his  explaining  himself, 
I  found  his  sorrow  did  not  arise  from  the  loss  of  the 
monarch,  but  for  his  having  sold  out  of  the  Bank  about  three 
days  before  he  heard  the  news  of  it.  Upon  which  a  haber- 
dasher, who  was  the  oracle  of  the  coffee-house,  and  had  his 
circle  of  admirers  aboiit  him,  called  several  to  witness  that 
he  had  declared  his  opinion,  above  a  week  before,  that  the 
French  King  was  certainly  dead ;  to  which  he  added,  that 
considering  the  late  advices  we  had  received  from' France, 
it  was  impossible  that  it  could  be  otherwise.  As  he  ivas  laying 


304  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

these  together,  and  debating  to  his  hearers  with  great 
authority,  there  came  a  gentleman  from  Garraway's,  who 
told  us  that  there  were  several  letters  from  France  just  come 
in,  with  advice  that  the  King  was  in  good  health,  and  was 
cone  out  a  hunting  the  very  morning  the  post  came  away  j 
upon  which  the  haberdasher  stole  off  his  hat  that  hung  upon 
a  wooden  peg  by  him,  and  retired  to  his  shop  with  great 
confusion.  This  intelligence  put  a  stop  to  my  travels,  which 
I  had  prosecuted  with  so  much  satisfaction;  not  being  a 
little  pleased  to  hear  so  many  different  opinions  upon  so 
great  an  event,  and  to  observe  how  naturally,  upon  such  a 
piece  of  news,  every  one  is  apt  to  consider  it  to  his 
particular  interest  and  advantage." 

Coffee-house  Sharpers  in  1776. 

The  following  remarks  by  Sir  John  Fielding*  upon  the 
dangerous  classes  to  be  found  in  our  metropoUtan  Coffee- 
houses three-quarters  of  a  century  since,  are  described  as 
"necessary  Cautions  to  all  Strangers  resorting  thereto." 

"  A  stranger  or  foreigner  should  particularly  frequent  the 
Coffee-houses  in  London.  These  are  very  numerous  in 
every  part  of  the  town  ;  will  give  him  the  best  insight  into 
the  different  characters  of  the  people,  and  the  justest  notion 
of  the  inhabitants  in  general ;  of  all  the  houses  of  public 
resort  these  are  the  least  dangerous.  Yet,  some  of  these 
are  not  entirely  free  from  sharpers.  The  deceivers  of  this 
denomination  are  generally  descended  from  families  of  some 
repute,  have  had  the  groundwork  of  a  genteel  education, 
and  are  capable  of  making  a  tolerable  appearance.  Having 
been  equally  profuse  of  their  own  substance  and  character, 
and  learned,  by  having  been  undone,  the  ways  of  undoing, 
they  lie  in  wait  for  those  who  have  more  wealth  and  less 


•  "  The   Magistrate :   Desaiption  of  London  and  Westminster,* 
1776. 


i^n--,      -  Zki'i  1 


Simson's  Three  Tuns,  Billingsgate,     (i^w/?  Dinners. 


Copenhagen  House,  1830. 


DON SALTERas  COFFEE-HOUSE.  305 

knowledge  of  the  town.  By  joining  you  in  discourse,  by 
admiring  what  you  say,  by  an  ofRciousness  to  wait  upon 
you,  and  to  assist  you  in  anything  you  want  to  have  or 
know,  they  insinuate  themselves  into  the  company  and  ac- 
quaintance of  strangers,  whom  they  watch  every  opportunity 
of  fleecing.  And  if  one  finds  in  you  the  least  inclination  to 
cards,  dice,  the  billiard  table,  bowling-green,  or  any  other 
sort  of  gaming,  you  are  morally  sure  of  being  taken  in.  For 
this  set  of  gentry  are  adepts  in  all  the  arts  of  knavery  and 
tricking.  If,  therefore,  you  should  observe  a  persouj  with- 
out any  previous  acquaintance,  paying  you  extraordinary 
marks  of  civility ;  if  he  puts  in  for  a  share  of  your  conversa- 
tion with  a  pretended  air  of  deference  ;  if  he  tenders  his 
assistance,  courts  your  acquaintance,  and  would  be  suddenly 
thought  your  friend,  avoid  him  as  a  pest ;  for  these  are  the 
usual  baits  by  which  the  unwary  are  caught." 

Don  Saltero's  Coffee-house. 

Among  the  curiosities  of  Old  Chelsea,  almost  as  well-known 
as  its  china,  was  the  Coffee-house  and  Museum,  No.  18, 
Cheyne  Walk,  opened  by  a  barber,  named  Salter,  in  1695. 
Sir  Hans  Sloane  contributed  some  of  the  refuse  gimcracks 
of  his  own  collection  ;  and  Vice-Admiral  Munden,  who  had 
been  long  on  the  coast  of  Spain,  where  he  had  acquired  a 
a  fondness  for  Spanish  titles,  named  the  keeper  of  the  house 
Don  Salter 0,  and  his  Coffee-house  and  Museum,  Don 
Saltero's. 

The  place,  however,  would,  in  all  probability,  have  en- 
joyed little  beyond  its  local  fame,  had  not  Sir  Richard  Steele 
immortalized  the  Don  and  Don  Saltero's  in  The  Tatler, 
No.  34,  June  28,  1700  ;  wherein  he  tells  us  of  the  necessity 
of  travelling  to  know  the  world  by  his  journey  for  fresh  air, 
no  further  than  the  village  of  Chelsea,  of  which  he  fancied 
that  he  could  give  an  immediate  description,  from  the  five 
fields,  where  the  robbers  lie  in  wait,  to  the  Coffee-house, 

X 


30(5  -■    CLUB  LIFE  OI'  LONDON. 

where  the  literati  sit  in  council.  But  he  found,  evat,i  in  La- 
place so  neaf  town  as  this,  there  were.enorniities  and  persons 
of  eminence,  whom  he  before  knew  nothing  of. 

The  Coffeerhouse  ^vas  almost  absorbed  by  the  Museum. 
"When  I  came  into  the  Coffee-house,"  says  Steele,  "  I  had 
not  time  to  salute  the  company,  before  my  eyes  were  di- 
verted by  ten  thousand  gimcracKs.  round  the  room,  and  on 
the  ceiling.  When  my  first  astonishment  was  over,  comes 
to  me  a  sage  of  thin  and  meagre  countenance,  which  aspect 
made  me  doubt  whether  reading  or  fretting  had  made  it  so 
philosophic  ;  but  I  very  soon  perceived  him  to  be  of  that 
sort  which  the  ancients  call  '  gingivistee,'  in  our  language 
'  tooth-drawers.'  I  immediately  had  a  respect  for  the  man;- 
for  these  practical  philosophers  go  upon  a  very  practical 
hypothesis,  not  to  cure,  but  to  take  away  the  part  affected. 
My  love  of  mankind  made  me  very  benevolent  to  Mr; 
Salter,  for  such  is  the  name  of  this  eminent  barber  and 
antiquary." 

The  Don  was  famous  for  his  punch  and  his  skill  on  the 
fiddle ;  he  also  drew  teeth,  and  \\T:ote  verses ;  he  described 
his  museum  in  several  stanzas,  one  of  which  is — 

Monsters  of  all  sorts  are  seen  : 

Strange  things  in  nature  as  they  grew  so  ; 

Some  relicks  of  the  Sheba  Queefn, 

And  fragments  of  the  fani'd  Bob  Crusoe. 

Steele  then  plunges  into  a  deep  thought  why  barbers 
should  go  further  in  hitting  the  ridiculous  than  any  other 
set  of  men ;  and  maintains  that  Don  Saltero  is  descended 
in  a  right  line,  not  from  John  Tradescant,  as  he  himself 
asserts,  but  from  the  memorable  companion  of  the  Knights 
of  Mancha.  Steele  then  certifies  that  all  the  worthy  citizens 
who  travel  to  see  the  Don's  rarities,  his  double-barrelled 
pistols,  targets,  coats  of  mail,  his  sclopeta,  and  sword  of 
Toledo,  were  left  to  his  ancestor  by  the  said  Don  Quixote, 
and  by  his  ancestor  to  all  his  progeny  down  to  Saltero. 
Though  Steele  thus  goes  far  in  favotir  of  Don  Saltero's  great 


JDON  SALTERffS  COFFEE-HOUSE.  307, 

merit;  he  otyects  to  his  imposing  several  names  (without  his 
licence)  on  the  collection  he  has  made,  to  the  abuse:  of  the 
good  people  of  England ;  one  of  which  is  particularly  -calcu- 
lated to  deceiw  religious  persons,  to  the  greait  scaqdalof 
the  well-disposed,  '-.and  may  introduce  heterodox  opinions. 
[Among  the  curiosities  presented  by  Admiral  Munden  was 
a  cofHn,  containing  the  body  or  relics  of  a  Spanish  saint, 
who  had  wrought  miracles.]  "  He  shows  you  a  straw  hat; 
which,"  says  Steele,  "I  know  to  be  made  by  Madge  Peskad, 
within  three  miles  of  Bedford ;  and  tells  you  '  It  is  Pontius 
Pilate's  wife's  chambermaid's  sister's  hat.'  To  my  knowledge 
of  this  very  hat,  it  may  be  added  that  the  covering  of  straw 
was  never  used  among  the  Jews,  since  it  -was  demanded  of 
them,  to  make  bricks  without  it.  Therefore,  this  is  nothing 
but,  under  the  specious  pretence  of  learning  and  antiquities, 
to  impose  upon  the  world.  There  are  other  things  vhich  I 
cannot  tolerate  ariong  his  rarities,  as,  the  china  figure  of  the 
lady  in  the.glassrcase;,  the  Italian  engine,  for  the  imprison- 
ment of  those  who  go  abroad  with  it ;  both '  of  which  I 
hereby  order  to  be  taken  down,  or  else  he  may  expect  to 
have  his  letters  patent  for  making  punch  superseded;  be  de- 
barred wearing  his  muff  next  winter,  or  ever  coming  to 
London  without  his  wife."  Babillard  says  that  Salter  had 
an  old  grey  muff,  and  that,  by  wearing  it  up  to  his  nose,  he 
was  distinguishable  at  the  distance  of  a  quarter  of  a  mile. 
His  wife  was  none  of  the  best,  being  much  addicted  to 
scolding ;  and  Salter,  who  liked  his  glass,  if  he  could  make 
a  trip  to  London  by  himself,  was  in  no  haste  to  return. 

Don  Saltero's  proved  very  attractive  as  an  exhibition,  and 
drew  crowds  to  the  Coffee-house.  A  catalogue  was  pub^ 
lished,  of  which  were  printed  more  than  forty  editions. 
Smollett,  the  novelist,  was  among  the  donors.  The  cata- 
logue, in  1760,  comprehended  the  following  rarities: — 
Tigers'  tusks ;  the  Pope's  candle ;  the  skeleton  of  a  Guinea- 
pig  ;  a  fly-cap  monkey  j  a  piece  of  the  true  Cross ;  the  Four 
Evangehsts'  heads   cut   on   a  cherry-stone;  the   King  of 

X  2 


3o8  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON: 

Morocco's  tobacco-pipe ;  Mary  Queen  of  Scots'  pincushion; 
Queen  Elizabeth's  prayer-book ;  a  pair  of  Nun's  stockings ; 
Job's  ears,  which  grew  on  a  tree ;  a  frog  in  a  tobacco-stopper; 
and  five  hundred  more  odd  relics  !  The  Don  had  a  rival, 
as  appears  by  "A  Catalogue  of  the  Rarities  to  be  seen  at 
Adams's,  at  the  Royal  Swan,  in  Kingsland-road,  leading 
from  Shoreditch  Church,  1756."  Mr.  Adams  exhibited,  for 
the  entertainment  of  the  curious,  "  Miss  Jenny  Cameron's 
shoes ;  Adam's  eldest  daughter's  hat ;  the  heart  of  the 
famous  Bess  Adams,  that  was  hanged  at  Tyburn  with 
Lawyer  Carr,  January  18,  1736-7 ;  Sir  Walter  Raleigh's 
tobacco-pipe ;  Vicar  of  Bray's  clogs ;  engine  to  shell  green 
peas  with ;  teeth  that  grew  in  a  fish's  belly ;  Black  Jack's 
ribs ;  the  very  comb  that  Abraham  combed  his  son  Isaac 
and  Jacob's  head  with ;  Wat  Tyler's  spurs ;  rope  that  cured 
Captain  Lowry  of  the  head-ach,  ear-ach,  tooth-ach,  and 
belly-ach ;  Adam's  key  of  the  fore  and  back  door  of  the 
Garden  of  Eden,  &c.,  &C;"  These  are  only  a  few  out  of 
five  hundred  others  equally  marvellous. 

The  Don,  in  1723,  issued  a  curious  rhyming  advertise- 
ment of  his  Curiosities,  dated  "  Chelsea  Knackatory,"  and 
in  one  line  he  calls  it  "  My  Museum  Coffee-house." 

In  Dr.  Franklin's  "Life"  we  read: — "Some  gentlemen  from 
the  country  went  by  water  to  see  the  College,  and  Don 
Saltero's  Curiosities,  at  Chelsea."  They  were  shown  in  the 
coffee-room  till  August,  1799,  when  the  collection  was  mostly 
'  sold  or  dispersed ;  a  few  gimcracks  were  left  until  about 
1825,  when  we  were  informed  on  the  premises,  they  were 
thrown  away !  The  house  is  now  a  tavern,  with  the  sign  of 
"  The  Don  Saltero's  Coffee-house." 

The  success  of  Don  Saltero,  in  attracting  visitors  to  his 
coffee-house,  induced  the  proprietor  of  the  Chelsea  Bun-house 
to  make  a  similar  collection  of  rarities,  to  attract  customers 
for  the  buns;  and  to  some  extent  it  was  successful. 


309 


Saloop-houses. 

What  was,  in  our  time,  occasionally  sold  at  stalls  in  the 
streets  of  London,  with  this  name,  was  a  decoction  of 
sassafras ;  but  it  was  originally  made  from  Salep,  the  roots 
of  Orchis  mascula,  a  common  plant  of  our  meadows,  the 
tubers  of  which,  being  cleaned  and  peeled,  are  lightly 
browned  in  an  oven.  Salep  was  much  recommended  in  the 
last  century  by  Dr.  Percival,  who  stated  that  salep  had  the 
property  of  concealing  the  taste  of  salt  water,  which  pro- 
perty it  was  thought  might  be  turned  to  account  in  long  sea- 
voyages.  The  root  has  been  considered  as  containing  the 
largest  portion  of  nutritious  matter  in  the  smallest  space ; 
and  when  boiled,  it  was  much  used  in  this  country  before 
the  introduction  of  tea  and  cofifee,  and  their  greatly  reduced 
prices.  Salep  is  now  almost  entirely  disused  in  Great 
Britain ;  but  we  remember  many  saloop-stalls  in  our  streets. 
We  believe  the  last  house  in  which  it  was  sold,  to  have  been 
Read's  Coffee-house,  in  Fleet-street  The  landlord  of  the 
noted  Mug-house,  in  Salisbury-square,  was  one  Read.  (See 
p.  44.) 

The  Smyrna  Coffee-house, 

In  Pall  Mall,  was,  in  the  reign  of  Queen  Anne,  famous 
for  "  that  cluster  of  wise-heads  "  found  sitting  every  evening, 
from  the  left  side  of  the  fire  to  the  door.  The  following 
announcement  in  the  Tatler,  No.  78,  is  amusing :  "  This  is 
to  give  notice  to  all  ingenious  gentlemen  in  and  about  the 
cities  of  London  and  Westminster,  who  have  a  mind  to  be 
instructed  in  the  noble  sciences  of  music,  poetry,  and 
politics,  that  they  repair  to  the  Smyrna  Coffee-house,  in 
Pall  Mall,  betwixt  the  hours  of  eight  and  ten  at  night,  where 
they  may  be  instructed  gratis,  with  elaborate  essays  by  word 
of  mouth,"  on  all  or  any  of  the  above-mentioned  arts.     The 


3IO  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

disciples  are  to  prepare  their  bodies  with  three  dishes  of 
bohea,  and  to  purge  their  brains  with  two  pinches  of  snuff. 
If  any  young  student  gives  indication  of  parts,  by  listening 
attentively,  or  asking  a  pertinent  question,  one  of  the  pro- 
fessors shall  distinguish  him,  by  taking  snufif  out  of  his  box 
in  the  presence  of  the  whole  audience. 

"  N.B.— The  seat  of  learning  is  now  removed  from  the 
corner  of  the  chimney  on  the  left  hand  towards  the  window, 
to  the  round  table  in  the  middle  of  the  floor  over  against  the 
fire ;  a  revolution  much  lamented  by  the  porters  and  chair- 
men, who  were  much  edified  through  a  pane  of  glass  that 
remained  broken  all  the  last  summer." 

Prior  and  Swift  were  much  together  at  the'  Smyrna :  we 
read  of  their  sitting  there  two  hours,  "  receiving  acquaint- 
ance ;"  and  one  entry  of  Swift's  tells  us  that  he  walked  a 
little  in  the  Park  till  Prior  made  him  go  with  him  to  the 
Smyrna  Coffee-house.  It  seemed  to  be  the  place  to  talk 
politics;  but  there  is  a  more  agreeable 'record  of  it  in 
association  with  our  "  Poet  of  the  Year,''  thus  given  by 
Cunningham  :  "  In  the  printed  copy  of  Thomson's  proposals 
for  publishing,  by  subscription,  the  Four  Seasons,  with  a 
Hymn  on  their  succession,  the  following  note  is  appended  : 
'  Subscriptions  now  taken  in  by  the  author,  at  the  Smyrna 
Coffee-house,  Pall  Mall.'"*  We  find  the 'Smyrna  in  a  list  of 
Coffee-houses  in  1810. 

St.  James's  Coffee-house. 

This  was  the  famous  Whig  Coffee-house  from  the  time  of 
Queen  Anne  till  late  in  the  reign  of  George  III.  It  was  tho 
last  house  but  one  on  the  south-west  comer  of  St.  James's- 


*  The  Dane  Coifee-house,  between  the  Upper  and.  Lower  Malls, 
Hammersmith,  was  frequented  by  Thomson,  who  wrote  here  a  part  of 
his  "Winter."  On  the  Terrace  resided,  for  many  years,  Arthur  Murphy, 
and  Loutherbourg,  the  painter.    The  latter  died  there,  in  1812. 


ST.  yAMES'S  COFFEE-HOUSE.  311 

Street,  and  is  thus  mentioned  in  No.  i  of  the  Tatler  : 
"Foreign  and  Domestic  News  you  will  have  from  St. 
James's  Coffee-house."  It  occurs  also  in  the  passage  quoted 
at  page  301,  from  the  Spectator.  The  St.  James's  was  much 
frequented  by  Swift ;  letters-  for  him  were  left  here.  In  Jiis 
Journal  to  Stella  he  says:  "  I  met  Mr.  Harley,  and  he  asked 
me  how  long  I  had  learnt  the  trick  of  writing  to  myself? 
He  had  seen  your  letter  through  the  glass  case  at  the 
Coffee-house,  and  would  swear  it  was  my  hand."  The 
letters  from  Stella  were  enclosed  under  cover  to  Addison. 

Elliot,  who  kept,  the  coffee-house,  was,  on  occasions, 
placed  on  a  friendly  footing  with  his  guests.  Swift,  in  his 
Journal  to  Stella,  Nov.  19,  1710,  records  an  odd  instance  of 
this  familiarity  :  "  This  evening  I  christened  our  coffee-man 
Elliot's  child ;  when  the  rogue  had  a  most  noble  supper,  and 
Steele  and  I  sat  amongst^  some  scurvy  company  over  a  bowl 
of  punch." 

In  the  first  advertisement  of  Lady  Mary  Wortley  Mon- 
tagu's "  Town  Eclogues,"  they  are  stated  to  have  been  read 
over  at  the  St.  James's  Coffee-house,  when  they  were 
considered  by  the  general  voice  to  be  productions  of  a 
Lady  of  Quality.  From  the  proximity  of  the  house  to  St. 
James's  Palace,  it  was  much  frequented  by .  the  Guards ; 
and  we  read  of  its  being  no  uncommon  circumstance  to 
see  Dr.  Joseph  Warton  at  breakfast  in  the  St.  James's 
Coffee-house,  surrounded  by  offxers  of  the  Guards,  who 
listened  with  the  utmost  attention  and  pleasure  to  his 
remarks. 

To  show  the  order  and  regularity  observed  at  the  St. 
James's,  we  may  quote  the  following  advertisement, 
appended  to  the  Tatter,  No.  25  : — "  To  prevent  all  mis- 
takes that  may  happen  among  gentlemen  of  the  other  end 
of  the  town,  who  come  but  once  a  week  to  St.  James's 
Coffee-house,  either  by  miscalling  the  servants^  or  requiring 
such  things  from  them  as  are  not  properly  within  their  respec- 
tive provinces  ;  this  is  to  give  notice  that  Kidney,  keeper  of 


312  CLUB  LJi'Ji  ux'  i^uivjjuiv. 

the  book-debts  of  the  outlying  customers,  and  observer  of 
those  who  go  oft  without  paying,  having  resigned  that 
employment,  is  succeeded  by  John  Sowton  ;  to  whose  place 
of  enterer  of  messages  and  first  cofiee-grinder,  William  Bird 
is  promoted  ;  and  Samuel  Burdock  comes  as  shoe-cleaner  in 
the  room  of  the  said  Bird." 

But  the  St.  James's  is  more  memorable  as  the  house 
where  originated  Goldsmith's  celebrated  poem,  "  Retalia- 
tion." The  poet  belonged  to  a  temporary  association  of 
men  of  talent,  some  of  them  members  of  the  Club,  who 
dined  together  occasionally  here.  At  these  dinners  he  was 
generally  the  last  to  arrive.  On  one  occasion,  when  he  was 
later  than  usual,  a  whim  seized  the  company  to  write 
epitaphs  on  him  as  "  the  late  Dr.  Goldsmith,"  and  several 
were  thrown  off  in  a  playful  vein.  The  only  one  extant  was 
written  by  Garrick,  and  has  been  preserved,  very  probably, 
by  its  pungency  : — 

Here  lies  poet  Goldsmith,  for  shortness  called  Noll ; 
He  wrote  like  an  angel,  but  talked  like  poor  Poll. 

Goldsmith  did  not  relish  the  sarcasm,  especially  coming 
from  such  a  quarter  ;  and,  by  way  of  retaliation,  he  produced 
the  famous  poem,  of  which  Cumberland  has  left  a  very 
interesting  account,  but  which  Mr.  Forster,  in  his  "  Life  of 
Goldsmith,''  states  to  be  "  pure  romance."  The  poem  itself, 
however,  with  what  was  prefixed  to  it  when  published, 
sufficiently  explains  its  own  origin.  What  had  formerly 
been  abrupt  and  strange  in  Goldsmith's  manners,  had  now 
so  visibly  increased,  as  to  Ijecome  matter  of  increased  sport 
to  such  as  were  ignorant  of  its  cause ;  and  a  proposition 
made  .it  one  of  the  dinners,  when  he  was  absent,  to  write  a 
series  of  epitaphs  upon  him  (his  "country  dialect"  and  his 
awkward  person)  was  agreed  to,  and  put  in  practice  by  several 
of  the  guests.  The  active  aggressors  appear  to  have  been 
Garrick,  Doctor  Bernard,  Richard  Burke,  and  Caleb  White- 
foord.  Cumberland  says  he,  too,  wrote  an  epitaph  ;  but  it 
was  complimentary  and  grave,  and  hence  the  grateful  return 


ST.  JAMESS  COFFEE-HOUSE.  313 

he  received.  Mr.  Forster  considers  Garrick's  epitaph  to 
indicate  the  tone  of  all.  This,  with  the  rest,  was  read  to 
Goldsmith  when  he  next  appeared  at  the  St.  James's  Coffee- 
house, where  Cumberland,  however,  says  he  never  again 
met  his  friends.  But  "  the  Doctor  was  called  on  for  Retali- 
ation," says  the  friend  who  published  the  poem  with  that 
name,  "  and  at  their  next  meeting  produced  the  following, 
which,  I  think,  adds  one  leaf  to  his  immortal  wreath." 
"  '  Retaliation,' "  says  Sir  Walter  Scott,  "  had  the  effect  of 
placing  the  author  on  a  more  equal  footing  with  his  Society 
than  he  had  ever  before  assumed." 

Cumberland's  account  differs  from  the  version  formerly 
received,  which  intimates  that  the  epitaphs  were  written  be- 
fore Goldsmith  arrived  :  whereas  the  pun,  "  the  late  Dr. 
Goldsmith,"  appears  to  have  suggested  the  writing  of  the 
epitaphs.  In  the  "  Retaliation,"  Goldsmith  has  not  spared  the 
characters  and  failings  of  his  associates,  but  has  drawn  them 
with  satire,  at  once  pungent  and  good-humoured.  Garrick 
is  smartly  chastised  ;  Burke,  the  Dinner-bell  of  the  House 
of  Commons,  is  not  let  off ;  and  of  all  the  more  distinguished 
names  of  the  Club,  Thomson,  Cumberland,  and  Reynolds 
alone  escape  the  lash  of  the  satirist.  The  former  is  not 
mentioned,  and  the  two  latter  are  even  dismissed  with  uri- 
qualified  and  affectionate  applause. 

Still,  we  quote  Cumberland's  account  of  the  "  Retaliation,'' 
which  is  very  amusing  from  the  closely  circumstantial  man- 
ner in  which  the  incidents  are  narrated,  although  they  have 
so  little  relationship  to  truth :— "  It  was  upon  a  proposal 
started  by  Edmund  Burke,  that  a  party  of  friends  who  had 
dined  together  at  Sir.  Joshua  Reynolds's  and  my  house, 
should  meet  at  the  St.  James's  Coffee-house,  which  accord- 
ingly took  place,  and  was  repeated  occasionally  with  much 
festivity  and  good  fellowship.  Dr.  Bernard,  Dean  of  Derry  ; 
a  very  amiable  and  old  friend  of  mine,  Dr.  Douglas,  since 
Bishop  of  Salisbury ;  Johnson,  David  Garrick,  Sir  Joshua 
Reynolds,  Oliver  Goldsmith,  Edmund  and  Richard  Burke, 


31,4  QLtfB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

Hicjtey,  with  two.  or  three  others,  constituted  ovir  party.  At 
one  of  these  meetings  an  idea  was  sUggftsted  of  extemporary 
epitaphs  upon  the  parties  present :  pen  and  ink  were  called 
for,  and  Garrick,  off-hand,  wrote  an  epitaph  with  a. good  deal 
of  humour,  upon  poor'  Goldsmith,  who  was  the  first  in  jest, 
as  he  proved  to  be  in  reality,  that  we  committed  to.  the  grave. 
The  Dean  also  gave  him  an  epitaph,  and  Sir  Joshua  illumi- 
nated the  Dean's  verses  with  a  sketch  of  his  bust  in"  peii  and 
ink,  inimitably  caricatured.  Neither  Johnson  nor  Burke 
wrote  anything,  and  when ,  I  perceived  that  Oliver  was 
rather  sore,  and  seemed  to  watch  me  with  that  kind  of 
attention .  which  indicated  his  expectation  of  something  in 
the  .same  kind  of  burlesque  with  theirs  ;  I  thought  it  time  to 
press  the  Joke  nofurther,  and  wrote  a  few  couplets  at  a  side- 
table,  which,  when  Lhad  finished,  and  was  called  upon  by 
the  company  to  exhibit,  -Goldsmith,  with  mucli  agitation, 
besought  me  to  spare  him ;  and  I  was  about  to  tear  them, 
when  Johnson  wrested  them  out  of  my  hand,  and  in  a  loud 
voice  read  them  at  the  table.  I  have  now  lost  recollection 
of  them,  and,  in  fact,  they  were  little  worth  remembering  ; 
but  as  they  were  serious  and  complimentary,  the  effect  upon 
Goldsmith  was  the  more  pleasing,  for  being  so  entirely  un- 
expected. The  concluding  line,  which  was  tlie  only  one  I 
can  call  to  mind,  was  : — 

All  moum  the  poet,  I  lament  the  man. 

This  I  recollect,  because  he  repeated  it  several  times,,  and 
seemed  much  gratified  by  it.  At  our  next  meeting  he  pro- 
duced his  epitaphs,  as  they-  stand  in  the  little  posthumous 
poem  above  mentioned,  and  this  was  the  last  time  he  ever 
enjoyed  the  company  of  his  friends."* 

Mr.  Cunningham  tells  us  that  the  St.  James's  was  closed 
about  1806  ;  and  a  large  pile  of  building  looking  down  Pall 
Mall,  erected  on  its  site. 


*  "  Cumberland's  Memoirs,"  vol.  i. 


THE  BRITISH  COFSEE-HOUSE.  315 

The  globular  oil-lamp  was  first  exhibited  by  its  inventor, 
Mitihael  Cole,  at  the  door  of  the  St.  James's  Coffee-house, 
in  1709;  in  the  patent  he  obtained,  it  is  mentioned  as  "  a 
new  kind  of  iight." 

The  British  Coffee-house, 

In  Cockspur-street,  "  long  a  house  of  call  for  Scotchmen," 
has  been  fortunate  in  Its  landladies.  In  1759,  it  was  kept 
by  the  sister  of  Bishop  Douglas,  so  well  known  foi'  his  works 
against  Lauder  anii  Bower,  which  may  explain  its  Scottish 
fame,  at  another  period  it  was  kept '  by  Mrs.  Anderson, 
described  in  Mackenzie's  "  Life  of  Home  "  as  "  a  woman  of 
uncommon  talents,  and  the  most  agreeable  conversation."* 

The  British  figures'  in  a  political  faction  of  1750,  at  which 
.date  Walpole  writes  to  "Sir  Horace  Mann:  "The  Argyll 
carried  all  the  Scotch  against  the  turnpike  ;  they  were  will- 
ing to  be  carried,,  for  the  Duke  of  Bedford,  in  case  it  should 
have  come  into  the  Lords,  had  writ  to  the  sixteen  Peers, 
to  solicit  their  votes ;  but  with  so  httle  difference,  that  he 
enclosed  all  the  letters  under  one  cover  directed  to  the  British 
Coffee-house." 

Will's  Coffee-house,  t 

Will's,  the  predecessor  of  Button's,  and  even  more  cele- 
brated than  that  Coffee-house,  was  kept  by  William  Urwin,  and 
was  the  house  on  the  north  side  of  Russell-street,  at  the  end 
of  Bow-street — the  corner  house — now  occupied  as  a  ham  and 
beef  shop,  and  num,bered  twentyrthree.      "  It  was  Dryden 


*  "  Cunninghajn's  Walpole,"  vol.  ii,  p.  196,  note. 
+  Will's  Coffee-house  first  had  the  title  of  the  Red  Cow,  then  of  the 
Rose,  and,  we.believe,  is  the  same  house  alluded  to  in  the  pleasant  story 
in  the  second  number  of  the  Tatter: — 

''Supper  and  friends  expect  we  at  the  Rose." 
The  Rose,  however,  was  a  common  sig^  for  houses  of  public  entertain- 
ment. 


3i6  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

who  made  Will's  Coffee-house  the  great  resort  of  the  wits  of 
his  time."  {Pope  and  Spence.)  The  room  in  which  the  poet 
was  accustomed  to  sit  was  on  the  first  floor ;  and  his  place 
was  the  place  of  honour  by  fire-side  in  the  winter ;  and  at 
the  corner  of  the  balcony,  looking  over  the  street,  in  fine 
weather ;  he  called  the  two  places  his  winter  and  his 
summer  seat.  This  was  called  the  dining-room  floor  in  the 
last  century.  The  company  did  not  sit  in  boxes  as  subse- 
quently, but  at  various  tables  which  were  dispersed  through 
the  room.  Smoking  was  permitted  in  the  public  room :  it 
was  then,  so  much  in  vogue  that  it  does  not  seem  to  have 
been  considered  a  nuisance.  Here,  as  in  other  similar 
places  of  meeting,  the  visitors  divided  themselves  into 
parties ;  and  we  are  told  by  Ward,  that  the  young  beaux 
and  wits,  who  seldom  approached  the  principal  table, 
thought  it  a  great  honour  to  have  a  pinch  out  of  Dryden's 
snuff-box. 

Dean  Lockier  has  left  this  life-like  picture  of  his  interview 
with  the  presiding  genius  at  Will's  : — "  I  was  about  seventeen 
when  I  first  came  up  to  town,"  says  the  Dean,  "  an  odd- 
looking  boy,  with  short  rough  hair,  and  that  sort  of  awkward- 
ness which  one  always  brings  up  at  first  out  of  the  country 
vdth  one.  However,  in  spite  of  my  bashfulness  and 
appearance,  I  used,  now  and  then,  to  thrust  myself  into 
Will's,  to  have  the  pleasure  of  seeing  the  most  celebrated 
wits  of  that  time,  who  then  resorted  thither.  The  second 
time  that  ever  I  was  there,  Mr.  Dryden  was  speaking  of  his 
own  things,  as  he  frequently  did,  especially  of  such  as  had 
been  lately  pubhshed.  '  If  anything  of  mine  is  good,'  says 
he,  '  'tis  "  Mac-Flecno  •"  and  I  value  myself  the  more  upon  it, 
because  it  is  the  first  piece  of  ridicule  written  in  heroics.' 
On  hearing  this  I  plucked  up  my  spirit  so  far  as  to  say,  in  a 
voice  but  just  loud  enough  to  be  heard,  '  that  "  Mac-FIecno  " 
was  a  very  fine  poem,  but  that  I  had  not  imagined  it  to  be 
the  first  that  was  ever  writ  that  way.'  On  this,  Dryden 
turned  short  upon  me,  as  surprised  at  my  interposing ;  asked 


JVILVS  COFFEE-HOUSE,  317 

me  how  long  '  I  had  been  a  dealer  in  poetry ;'  and  added, 
with  a  smile,  '  Pray,  Sir,  what  is  it  that  you  did  imagine  to 
have  been  writ  so  before  ?' — I  named  Boileau's  '  Lutrin '  and 
Tassoni's  '  Secchia  Rapita,'  which  I  had  read,  and  knew 
Dryden  had  borrowed  some  strokes  from  each.  '  'Tis  true,' 
said  Dryden,  '  I  had  forgot  them.'  A  little  after,  Dryden 
went  out,  and  in  going,  spoke  to  me  again,  and  desired  me 
to  come  and  see  him  the  next  day.  I  was  highly  delighted 
with  the  invitation  ;  went  to  see  him  accordingly ;  and  was 
well  acquainted  with  him  after,  as  long  as  he  lived." 

Will's  Coffee-house  was  the  open  market  for  libels  and 
lampoons,  the  latter  named  from  the  established  burden 
formerly  sung  to  them  : — 

Lampone,  lampone,  camerada  lampone. 

Thei  E  was  a  drunken  fellow,  named  Julian,  who  was  a 
characterless  frequenter  of  Will's,  and  Sir  Walter  Scott  has 
given  this  account  of  him  and  his  vocation  :— 

"  Upon  the  general  practice  of  writing  lampoons,  and  the 
necessity  of  finding  some  mode  of  dispersing  them,  which 
should  diffuse  the  scandal  widely  while  the  authors  remained 
concealed,  was  founded  the  self-erected   office   of  Julian, 
Secretary,  as  he  calls  himself,  to  the  Muses.     This  person 
attended  Will's,  the  Wits'  Coffee-house,  as  it  was  called ; 
and  dispersed  among  the  crowds  who  frequented  that  place 
of  gay  resort   copies   of  the   lampoons   which   had   been 
privately  communicated  to  him  by  their  authors.     '  He  is 
described,'  says  Mr.  Malone,  'as  a  very  drunken  fellow,  and 
at  one  time  was  confined  for  a  libel.'    Several  satires  were 
written,   in   the  form  of  addresses  to  him  as  well  as  the 
following.     There  is  one  among  the  "State  Poems"  be- 
ginning- 
Julian,  in  verse,  to  ease  thy  wants  I  write, 
Not  moved  by  envy,  malice,  or  by  spite, 
Or  pleased  with  the  empty  names  of  wit  and  sense. 
But  merely  to  supply  thy  want  of  pence  : 


3l8  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDOM 

This  did  inspire  my  muse,  wlieu  out  at  hod-. 
She  saw  her  needy  secretary  reel ;  ■ 
Grieved  that  a  man,  so  useful  to  the  age, 
Should  foot  it  in  so  mean  an  equipage  ; 
A  crying  scandal,  that  the  fees  of  sense 
Should  not  be  able  to  support  the  expense 
Of  a  poor  scribe,  who  never  thought  of  wants, - 
When  able-  to  procure  a  cup  of  Nantz. 

Another,  called  a  '  Consoling  Epistle  to  Julian,'  is  said  to 
have  been  written  by  the  Duke  of  Buckingham. 

"  From  a  passage  in  one  of  the  '  Letters  from  the  Dead  to 
the  Living,'  we  learn,  that  after  Julian's  death,  and  the 
madness  of  his  successor,  called  Summerton,  lampoon  felt  a 
sensible  decay ;  and  there  was  no  more  that  brisk  spirit  of 
verse,  that  used  to  watch  the  follies  and  vices  of  the  men  and 
women  of  figure,  that  they  could  not  start  new  ones  faster 
than  lampoons  exposed  them." 

How  these  lampoons  were  concocted  we  gather  from 
Bays,  in  the  "  Hind  and  the  Panther  transversed :" — "  'Tis 
a  trifle  hardly  worth  owning;  I  was  'tother-day  at  Will's, 
throwing  out  something  of  that  nature  ;  and,  i'  gad,  the  hint 
was  taken,  and  out  came  that  pictute  ;  indeed,  the  poor 
fellow  was  so  civil  as  to  present  me  with  a  dozen  of  'em  for 
my  friends ;  I  think  I  have  here  one  in  my  pocket.  .  .  .  Ay, 
ay,  I  can  do  it  if  I  list,  tho'  you  must  not  think  I  have  been 
so  dull  as  to  mind  these  things  myself;  but  'tis  the  advan- 
tage of  our  Coffee-house,  that  from  their  talk,  one  may  write 
a  very  good  polemical  discourse,  without  ever  troubling  one's 
head  with  the  books  of  controversy." 

Tom  Brown  describes  "a  Wit  and  a  Beau  set  up  with 
little  or  no  expense.  A  pair  of  red  stockings  and  a  sword- 
knot  set  up  one,  and  peeping  once  a  day  in  at  Will's,  and 
two  or  three  second-hand  sayings,  the  other.'' 

Pepys,  one  night,  going  to  fetch  home  his  wife,  stopped 
in  Covent  Garden,  at  the  Great  Coffee-house  there,  as  he 
called  Will's,  where  he  never  was  before ;  "Where,"  he  adds, 
"DrydeD;  the  poet  (I  knew  at  Cambridge),  and  all  the 


WILL'S  COFFEE-HOUSE.  ico 

Wits  of  the  town,  and  Han-is  the  player,  and  Mr.  Hoole  of 
our  College.  And  had  1  had  tmie  then,'or  could  at  other 
times,  it  will  be  good  coming  thither,  for  there,  I  perceive,  is 
very  witty  and  pleasant  discourse.  But!  could  not  tarry, 
and,  as  it  was  late,  they  were  all  ready  to  go  away." 

Addison  passed  each  day  alike,  and  much  in  the  manner 
that  Dryden  did.  Dryden  eniployed  his  mornings  in 
v^riting,  dined  en  fainille,  and  then  went  to  Will's,  "  only  he 
came  home  earlier  o' nights.'' 

Pope,  when  very  young,  was  impressed  with  such  venera- 
tion for  Dryden,  that  he  persuaded  some  friends  to  take  him 
to  Will's  Cofifee-house,  and  was  delighted  that  he  could  say 
that  he  had  seen  Dryden,  Sir  Charles  Wogan,  too,  brought 
up  Pope  from  the  Forest  of  Windsor,  to  dress  d /a  mode,  and 
introduce  at  Will's  Coffee-house.  Pope  afterwards  described 
Dryden  as  "  a  plump  man  with  a  down  look,  and  not  very 
conversible ;"  and  Cibber  could  tell  no  more  "  but  that  he 
remembered  him  a  decent  old  man,  arbiter  of  critical 
disputes  at  Will's.''     Prior  sings  of — 

the  younger  Stiles, 
Whom  Dryden  pedagogues  at  Will's  ! 

Most  of  the  hostile  criticisms  on  bis  x'lays,  which  Dryden 
has  noticed  in  his  various  Prefaces,  appear  to  have  been 
made  at  his  favourite  haunt.  Will's  Coffee-house. 

Dryden  is  generally  said  to  have,  been  returning  from 
Will's  to  his  house  in  Gerard-street,  when  he  was  cudgelled 
in  Rose-street  by  three  persons  hired  for  the  purpose  by 
Wilmot,  Earl  of  Rochester,  in  the  winter  of  1679.  The 
assault,  or  ",the  Rose-alley  Ambuscade,"  certainly  took 
place ;  but  it  is  not  so  certain  that  Dryden  was  on  his  way 
from  Will's,  and  he  then  lived  in  Long-acre,  not  Gerard- 
street. 

It  is  worthy  of  remark  that  Swift  was  accustomed  to 
speak  disparagingly  of  Will's,  as  in  his  "Rhapsody  on 
Poetry  :"— 


32«  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

Be  sure  at  Will's  the  following  day 

Lie  snug,  and  hear  what  critics  say  ; 

And  if  you  find  the  general  vogue 

Pronounces  you  a  stupid  rogue, 

Damns  all  your  thoughts  as  low  and  little  ; 

Sit  still,  and  swallow  down  your  spittle. 

Swift  thought  little  of  the  frequenters  of  Will's  :  he  used 
to  say,  "  the  worst  conversation  he  ever  heard  in  his  life  was 
at  Will's  Coffee-house,  where  the  wits  (as  they  were  called) 
used  formerly  to  assemble ;  that  is  to  say,  five  or  six  men, 
who  had  writ  plays  or  at  least  prologues,  or  had  a  share  in  a 
miscellany,  came  thither,  and  entertained  one  another  with 
their  trifling  composures,  in  so  important  an  air  as  if  they 
had  been  the  noblest  efforts  of  human  nature,  or  that  the  fate 
of  kingdoms  depended  on  them. 

In  the  first  number  of  the  Tatler,  Poetry  is  promised 
under  the  article  of  Will's  Coffee-house.  The  place,  how- 
ever, changed  after  Dryden's  time  :  "  you  used  to  see  songs, 
epigrams,  and  satires  in  the  hands  of  every  man  you  met  ; 
you  have  now  only  a  pack  of  cards;  and  instead  of  the  cavils 
about  the  turn  of  the  expression,  the  elegance  of  the  style, 
and  the  like,  the  learned  now  dispute  only  about  the  truth 
of  the  game."  "  In  old  times,  we  used  to  sit  upon  a  play 
here,  after  it  was  acted,  but  now  the  entertainment's  turned 
another  way." 

The  Spectator  is  sometimes  seen  "  thrusting  his  head  into 
a  round  of  politicians  at  Will's,  and  listening  with  great 
attention  to  the  narratives  that  are  made  in  these  little  circular 
audiences."  Then,  we  have  as  an  instance  of  no  one  mem- 
ber of  human  society  but  that  would  have  some  little  pre- 
tension for  some  degree  in  it,  "  like  him  who  came  to  Will's 
Coffee-house  upon  the  merit  of  having  writ  a  posie  of  a  ring." 
And,  "  Robin,  the  porter  who  waits  at  Will's,  is  the  best  man 
in  town  for  carrying  a  billet :  the  fellow  has  a  thin  body,  swift 
step,  demure  looks,  sufficient  sense,  and  knows  the  town."* 


The  Spectator,  No.  398. 


WILL'S  COFFEE-HOUSE.  321 

After  Dryden's  death,  in  1701,  Will's  continued  for  about 
ten  years  to  be  still  the  Wits'  Coffee-house,  as  we  see  by 
Ned  Ward's  account,  and  by  that  in  the  "  Journey  through 
England"  in  1722. 

Pope  entered  with  keen  relish  into  society,  and  courted 
the  correspondence  of  the  town  wits  and  coffee-house  critics. 
Among  his  early  friends  was  Mr.  Henry  Cromwell,  one  of 
the  cousinry  of  the  Protector's  family  :  he  was  a  bachelor, 
and  spent  most  of  his  time  in  London  ;  he  had  some  pre- 
tensions to  scholarship  and  literature,  having  translated 
several  of  Ovid's  Elegies,  for  Tonson's  Miscellany.  With 
Wycherley,  Gay,  Dennis,  the  popular  actors  and  actresses  of 
the  day,  and  with  all  the  frequenters  of  Will's,  Cromwell  was 
familiar.  He  had  done  more  than  take  a  pinch  out  of 
Dryden's  snuff-box,  which  was  a  point  of  high  ambition  and 
honour  at  Will's ;  he  had  quarrelled  with  him  about  a  frail 
poetess,  Mrs.  Elizabeth  Thomas,  whom  Dryden  had  chris- 
tened Corinna,  and  who  was  also  known  as  Sappho.  Gay 
characterized  this  literary  and  eccentric  beau  as 

Honest,  hatless  Cromwell,  with  red  breeches  ; 
it  being  his  custom  to  carry  his  hat  in  his  hand  when  walking 
with  ladies.  What  with  ladies  and  literature,  rehearsals  and 
reviews,  and  critical  attention  to  the  quality  of  his  coffee  and 
Brazil  snuff,  Henry  Cromwell's  time  was  fully  occupied  in 
town.  Cromwell  was  a  dangerous  acquaintance  for  Pope  at 
the  age  of  sixteen  or  seventeen,  but  he  was  a  very  agreeable 
one.  Most  of  Pope's  letters  to  his  friend  are  addressed  to 
him  at  the  Blue  Ball,  in  Great  Wild-street,  near  Drury-lane, 
and  others  to  "  Widow  Hambledon's  Coffee-house,  at  the 
end  of  Princes-street,  near  Drury-lane,  London."  Cromwell 
made  one  visit  to  Binfield ;  on  his  return  to  London,  Pope 
wrote  to  him,  "  referring  to  the  ladies  in  particular,"  and  to 
his  favourite  coffee : 

As  long  as  Mocha's  happy  tree  shall  grow, 
While  berries  crackle,  or  while  mills  shall  go  ; 
Y 


322  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

While  smoking  streams  from  silver  spouts  shall  glide, 

Or  China's  earth  receive  the  sable  tide, 

While  Coffee  shall  to  British  nymplis  be  dear. 

While  fragrant  steams  the  bended  head  shall  cheer. 

Or  grateful  bitters  shall  delight  the  taste. 

So  long  her  honours,  name,  and  praise  shall  last. 

Even  at  this  early  period  Pope  seems  to  have  relied  for 
relief  from  headache  to  the  steam  of  coffee,  which  he  inhaled 
for  this  purpose  throughout  the  whole  of  his  life.* 

The  Taverns  and  Coffee-houses  supplied  the  place  of  the 
Clubs  we  have  since  seen  established.  Although  no  ex- 
clusive subscription  belonged  to  any  of  these,  we  find  by 
the  account  which  CoUey  Cibber  gives  of  his  first  visit  to 
Will's,  in  Covent  Garden,  that  it  required  an  introduction  to 
this  Society  not  to  be  considered  as  an  impertinent  intruder. 
There  the  veteran  Dryden  had  long  presided  over  all  the 
acknowledged  wits  and  poets  of  the  day,  and  those  who 
had  the  pretension  to  be  reckoned  among  them.  The  poli- 
ticians assembled  at  the  St.  James's  Coffee-house,  from 
whence  all  the  articles  of  political  news  in  the  first  Tatlers 
are  dated.  The  learned  frequented  the  Grecian  Coffee- 
house in  Devereux-court.  Locket's,  in  Gerard-street,  Soho, 
and  Pontac's,  were  the  fashionable  taverns  where  the  young 
and  gay  met  to  dine  :  and  White's  and  other  chocolate 
houses  seem  to  have  been  the  resort  of  the  same  company 
in  the  morning.  Three  o'clock,  or  at  latest  four,  was  the 
dining-hour  of  the  most  fashionable  persons  in  London,  for 
in  the  country  no  such  late  hours  had  been  adopted.  In 
London,  therefore,  soon  after  six,  the  men  began  to  assemble 
at  the  coffee-house  they  frequented  if  they  were  not  set- 
ting in  for  hard  drinking,  which  seems  to  have  been  much 
less  indulged  in  private  houses  than  in  taverns.  The  ladies 
made  visits  to  one  another,  which  it  must  be  owned  was  a 
much  less  waste  of  time  when  considered  as  an  amusement 
for  the  evening,  than  now,  as  being  a  morning  occupation. 


*  Camithers  :  Life  of  Pope. 


323 


Button's  Coffee-house. 

Will's  was  the  great  resort  for  the  wits  of  Dryd.en's  time, 
after  whose  death  it  was  transferred  to  Button's.  Pope  de- 
scribes the  houses  as  "  opposite  each  other,  in  Russell-street, 
Covent  Garden,"  where  Addison  established  Daniel  Button, 
in  a  new  house,  about  1712  ;  and  his  fame,  after  the  pro- 
duction of  Cato,  drew  many  of  the  Whigs  thither.  Button 
had  been  servant  to  the  Countess  of  Warwick.  The  house 
is  more  correctly  described  as  "  over  against  Tom's,  near 
the  middle  of  the  south  side  of  the  street." 

Addison  was  the  great  patron  of  Button's;  but  it  is  said 
that  when  he  suffered  any  vexation  from  his ,  Countess,  he 
withdrew  the  company  from  Button's  house.  His  chief 
companions,  before  he  married  Lady  Warwick,  were  Steele, 
Budgell,  Philips,  Carey,  Davenant,  and  Colonel  Brett.  He 
used  to  breakfast  with  one  or  other  of  them  in  St. 
James's-place,  dine  at  taverns  with  them,  then  to  Button's, 
and  then  to  some  tavern  again,  for  supper  in  the  evening ; 
and  tliis  was  the  usual  round  of  his  life,  as  Pope  tells  us,  in 
"  Spence's  Anecdotes  /'  where  Pope  also  says  :  "  Addison 
usually  studied  all  the  morning,  then  met  his  party  at 
Button's,  dined  there,  and  stayed  five  or  six  hours ;  and 
sometimes  far  into  the  night.  I  was  of  the  company  for 
about  a  year,  but  found  it  too  much  for  me  :  it  hurt  my 
health,  and  so  I  quitted  it."  Again :  "There  had  been  a 
coldness  between  me  and  Mr.  Addison  for  some  time,  and  w?^ 
had  not  been  in  company  together  for  a  good  while  any- 
where but  at  Button's  Coffee-house,  where  I  used  to  see  him 
almost  every  day." 

Here  Pope  is  reported  to  have  said  of  Patrick,  the  lexico- 
grapher, that  "  a  dictionary-maker  might  know  the  meaning 
of  one  word,  but  not  of  two  put  together." 

Button's  was  the  receiving-house  for  contributions  to  The 
Guardian,  for  which  purpose  was  put  up  a  lion's  head  letter- 

Y  2 


324  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

box,  in  imitation  of  the  celebrated  lion  at  Venice,  as  humo- 
rously announced.     Thus : — 

"N.B. — Mr.  Ironside  has,  within  five  weeks  last  past, 
muzzled  three  lions,  gorged  five,  and  killed  one.  On  Mon- 
day next  the  skin  of  the  dead  one  will  be  hung  up,  in 
terrorem,  at  Button's  Coffee-house,  over  against  Tom's  in 
Covent  Garden."* 

"  Button's  Coffee-house, — 

"  Mr.  Ironside,  I  have  observed  that  this  day  you  make 
mention  of  Will's  Coffee-house,  as  a  place  where  people  are 
too  polite  to  hold  a  man  in  discourse  by  the  button.  Every- 
body knows  your  honour  frequents  this  house,  therefore  they 
will  take  an  advantage  against  me,  and  say  if  my  company  was 
as  civil  as  that  at  Will's.  You  would  say  so.  Therefore  pray 
your  honour  do  not  be  afraid  of  doing  me  justice,  because 
people  would  think  it  may  be  a  conceit  below  you  on  this 
occasion  to  name  the  name  of  your  humble  servant,  Daniel 
Button. — The  young  poets  are  in  the  back  room,  and  take 
-their  places  as  you  directed."! 

"  I  intend  to  publish  once  every  week  the  roarings  of 
the  Lion,  and  hope  to  make  him  roar  so  loud  as  to  be  heard 
over  all  the  British  nation. 

"I  have,  I  know  not  how,  been  drawn  into  tattle  of 
-myself,  more  majorum,  almost  the  length  of  a  whole  Guar- 
dian. I  shall  therefore  fill  up  the  remaining  part  of  it  with 
what  still  relates  to  my  own  person,  and  my  correspondents. 
Now  I  would  have  them  all  know  that  on  the  20th  instant, 
it  is  my  intention  to  erect  a  Lion's  Head,  in  imitation  of 
those  I  have  described  in  Venice,  through  which  all  the 
■private  commonwealth  is  said  to  pass.  This  head  is  to  open 
a  most  wide  and  voracious  mouth,  which  shall  take  in  such 
letters  and  ^papers  as  are  conveyed  to  me  by  my  correspon- 
dents, it  being  my  resolution  to  have  a  particular  regard  to 
all  such  matters  as  come  to  my  hands  though  the  mouth  of 


*  The  Guardian,  No.  71.  t  Ibid.,  No.  %<,. 


BUTTON'S  COFFEE-HOUSE.  325 

the  Lion.  There  will  be  under  it  a  box,  of  which  the  key 
will  be  in  my  own  custody,  to  receive  such  papers  as  are 
dropped  into  it.  Whatever  the  Lion  swallows  I  shall  digest 
for  the  use  of  the  publick.  This  head  requires  some  time 
to  finish,  the  workmen  being  resolved  to  give  it  several 
masterly  touches,  and  to  represent  it  as  ravenous  as  possible. 
It  will  be  set  up  in  Button's  Coffee-house,  in  Covent  Garden, 
who  is  directed  to  shew  the  way  to  the  Lion's  Head,  and  to 
instruct  any-  young  author  how  to  convey  his  works  into  the 
mouth  of  it  with  safety  and  secrecy."* 

"  I  think  myself  obliged  to  acquaint  the  publick,  tnat  the 
Lion's  Head,  of  which  I  advertised  them  about  a  fortnight 
ago,  is  now  erected  at  Button's  Coffee-house,  in  Russell- 
street,  Covent  Garden,  where  it  opens  its  mouth  at  all  hours 
for  the  reception  of  such  intelligence  as  shall  be  thrown 
into  it.  It  is  reckoned  an  excellent  piece  of  workmanship, 
and  was  designed  by  a  great  hand  in  imitation  of  the  antique 
Egyptian  lion,  the  face  of  it  being  compounded  out  of  that 
of  a  lion  and  a  wizard.  The  features  are  strong  and  well 
furrowed.  The  whiskers  are  admired  by  all  that  have  seen 
them.  It  is  planted  on  the  western  side  of  the  Coffee-house, 
holding  its  paws  under  the  chin,  upon  a  box,  which  con- 
tains everything  that  he  swallows.  He  is,  indeed,  a  proper 
emblem  of  knowledge  and  action,  being  all  head  and  paws."t 

"  Being  obliged,  at  present,  to  attend  a  particular  affair  of 
my  own,  I  do  empower  my  printer  to  look  into  the  arcana 
of  the  Lion,  and  select  out  of  them  such  as  may  be  of  publick 
utility;  and  Mr.  Button  is  hereby  authorized  and  commanded 
to  give  my  said  printer  free  ingress  and  egress  to  the  lion, 
without  any  hindrance,  let,  or  molestation  whatsoever,  until 
such  time  as  he  shall  receive  orders  to  the  contrary.  And, 
for  so  doing,  this  shall  be  his  warrant.''^: 

"  My  Lion,  whose  jaws  are  at  all  times  open  to  intelli- 


*   Tlie  Guardum,  No.  93.  +  Ibid.,  No.  114. 

t  Ibid.,  No.  142. 


326  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

gence,  informs  me  that  there  are  a  few  enormous  weapons 
still  in  being;  but  that  they  are  to  be* aiet.;with  only. in 
gaming-houses  and  some  of  the  obscuri^ttfeatS  of  lovers, 
in  and  about  DruryJane  aiid  Covent  ^^&t&:Q!i     '     i^~ 

This  memorable  K^'-s  H^ad  w^-S^SraiJly  «?ell  carved  : 
through  the  mouth  the-'^tSiiS^Vs^^^opjed  into  a  till  at 
Button's;  and  beneath  were'iSIStiBed-th'ffse  tWCP  lines  from 
Martial: —  ~  •  c't^:^ *•■  - '»    -      ,,- 

Cervantur  magni?  isti  Ceryicibus  ungues  ^ 
Non  nisi  delicti  pascitur  ille  fer|. 

The  head  was  designed  by  Hogarth,  and  is  etched  in 
Ireland's  "  Illustrations."  Lord  Chesterfield  is  said  to  have 
once  offered  for  the  Head  fifty  guineas.  From  Button's  it 
was  removed  to  the  Shakspeare's  Head  Tavern,  under  the 
Piazza,  kept  by  a  person  named  Tomkyns;  and  in  1751, 
was,  for  a  short  time,  placed  in  the  Bedford  Coffee-house 
immediately  adjoining  the  Shakspeare,  and  there  employed 
as  a  letter-box  by  Dr.  John  Hill,  for  his  Inspector.  In  1769, 
Tomkyns  was  succeeded  by  his  waiter,  Campbell,  as  pro- 
prietor of  the  tavern  and  lion's  head,  and  by  him  the  latter 
was  retained  until  Nov.  8,  1804,  when  it  was  purchased  by 
Mr.  Charles  Richardson,  of  Richardson's  Hotel,  for  17/.  loj., 
who  also  possessed  the  original  sign  of  the  Shakspeare's 
Head.  Afte'r  Mr.  Richardson's  death  in  1827,  the  Lion's 
Head  devolved  to  his  son,  of  whom  it  was  bought  by  the 
Duke  of  Bedford,  and  deposited  at  Woburn  Abbey,  where 
it  still  remains. 

Pope  was  subjected  to  much  annoyance  and  insult  at 
Button's.  Sir  Samuel  Garth  wrote  to  Gay,  that  everybody 
was  pleased  with  Pope's  Translation,  "but  a  few  at  Button's;" 
to  which  Gay  adds,  to  Pope,  "  I  am  confirmed  that  at 
Button's  your  character  is  made  very  free  with,  as  to  morals, 
etc." 

Cibber,  in  a  letter  to  Pope,  says  : — "  When  you  used  to 


*  The  Guardian,  No.  171. 


BU7T0N'S  COFFEE-HOUSE.  327 

pass  your  hours  at  Button's,  you  were  even  there  remark- 
able for  your  satirical  itch  of  provocation ;  scarce  was  there 
a  gentleman  of  any  pretension  to  wit,  whom  your  unguarded 
temper  had  not  fallen  upon  in  some  biting  epigram,  among 
which  you  once  caught  a  pastoral  Tartar,  whose  resentment, 
that  your  punishment  might  be  proportionate  to  the  smart 
of  your  poetry,  had  stuck  up  a  birchen  rod  in  the  room,  to 
be  ready  whenever  you  might  come  within  reach,  of  it ;  and 
at  this  rate  you  writ  and  rallied  and  writ  on,  till  you  rhymed 
yourself  quite  out  of  the  coffee-house.''  The  "pastoral 
Tartar"  was  Ambrose  Philips,  who,  says  Johnson,  "hung  up  a 
rod  at  Button's,  with  which  he  threatened  to  chastise  Pope." 
Pope,  in  a  letter  to  Craggs,  thus  explains  the  affair : — 
"  Mr.  Philips  did  express  himself  with  much  indignation 
against  me  one  evening  at  Button's  Coffee-house,  (as  I  was 
told,)  saying  that  I  was  entered  into  a  cabal  with  Dean 
Swift  and  others,  to  write  against  the  Whig  interest,  and  in 
particular  to  undermine  his  own  reputation  and  that  of  his 
friends,  Steele  and  Addison  ;  but  Mr.  Philips  never  opened 
his  lips  to  my  face,  on  this  or  any  like  occasion,  though  I 
was  almost  every  night  in  the  same  room  with  him,  nor  ever 
offered  me  any  indecorum.  Mr.  Addison  came  to  me  a 
night  or  two  after  Philips  had  talked  in  this  idle  manner, 
and  assured  me  of  his  disbelief  of  what  had  been  said,  of 
the  friendship  we  should  always  maintain,  and  desired  I 
would  say  nothing  further  of  it.  My  Lord  Halifax  did  me 
the  honour  to  stir  in  this  matter,  by  speaking  to  several 
people  to  obviate  a  false  aspersion,  which  might  have  done 
me  no  small  prejudice  with  one  party.  Plowever,  Philips 
did  all  he  could  secretly  to  continue  the  report  with  the 
Hanover  Club,  and  kept  in  his  hands  the  subscriptions  paid 
for  me  to  him,  as  secretary  to  that  Club.  The  heads  of  it 
have  since  given  him  to  understand,  that  they  take  it  ill ; 
but  (upon  the  terms  I  ought  to  be.  with  such  a  man)  I 
would  not  ask  him  for  this  money,  but  commissioned  one 
of  the  players,  his  equals,  to  receive  it.     This  is  the  whole 


328  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

matter  j  but  as  to  the  secret  grounds  of  this  malignity,  the)' 
will  make  a  very  pleasant  history  when  we  meet." 

Another  account  says  that  the  rod  was  hung  up  at  the  bar 
of  Button's,  and  that  Pope  avoided  it  by  remaining  at  home — 
"  his  usual  custom."  Philips  was  known  for  his  courage  and 
superior  dexterity  with  the  sword :  he  afterwards  became  ' 
justice  of  the  peace,  and  used  to  mention  Pope,  whenever 
he  could  get  a  man  in  authority  to  listen  to  him,  as  an 
enemy  to  the  Government 

At  Button's  the  leading  company,  particularly  Addison 
and  Steele,  met  in  large  flowing  flaxen  wigs.  Sir  Godfrey 
Kneller,  too,  was  a  frequenter. 

The  master  died  in  1731,  when  in  tlie  Daily  Advertiser, 
Oct  S,  appeared  the  following: — "On  Sunday  morning, 
died,  after  three  days'  illness,  Mr.  Button,  who  formerly  kept 
Button's  Coffee-house,  in  Russell-street,  Covent  Garden ;  a 
very  noted  house  for  wits,  being  the  place  where  the  Lyon 
produced  the  famous  Tatlers  and  Spectators,  written  by  the 
late  Mr.  Secretary  Addison  and  Sir  Richard  Steele,  Knt, 
which  works  will  transmit  their  names  with  honour  to  pos- 
terity." Mr.  Cunningham  found  in  the  vestry-books  of  St 
Paul's,  Covent  Garden  :  "  1719,  April  16.  Received  of  Mr. 
Daniel  Button,  for  two  places  in  the  pew  No.  18,  on  the 
south  side  of  the  north  Isle, — 2/.  2s."  J.  T.  Smith  states 
that  a  few  years  after  Button,  the  Coffee-house  declined,  and 
Button's  name  appeared  in  the  books  of  St  Paul's,  as  re- 
ceiving an  allowance  from  the  parish. 

Button's  continued  in  vogue  until  Addison's  death  and 
Steele's  retirement  into  Wales,  after  which  the  house  was 
deserted ;  the  coffee-drinkers  went  to  the  Bedford  Coffee- 
house, the  dinner-parties  to  the  Shakspeare. 

Among  other  wits  who  frequented  Button's  were  Swift, 
Arbuthnot,  Savage,  Budgell,  Martin  Folkes,  and  Drs.  Garth 
and  Armstrong.  In  1720,  Hogarth  mentions  "  four  drawings 
in  Indian  ink "  of  the  characters  at  Button's  Coffee-house. 
In  these  were  sketches  of  Arbuthnot,  Addison,  Pope,  (as  it 


BUTTON'S  COFFEE-HOUSE.  329 

is  conjectured,)  and  a  certain  Count  Viviani,  identified  years 
afterwards  by  Horace  Walpole,  when  the  drawings  came 
under  his  notice.  They  subsequently  came  into  Ireland's 
possession.* 

Jemmy  Maclaine,  or  M'Clean,  the  fashionable  highway- 
man, was  a  frequent  visitor  at  Button's.  Mr.  John  Taylor, 
of  the  Sun  newspaper,  describes  Maclaine  as  a  tall,  showy, 
good-looking  man.  A  Mr.  Donaldson  told  Taylor  that, 
observing  Maclaine  paid  particular  attention  to  the  barmaid 
of  the  Coffee-house,  the  daughter  of  the  landlord,  he  gave  a 
hint  to  the  father  of  Machine's  dubious  character.  The 
father  cautioned  the  daughter  against  the  highwayman's 
addresses,  and  imprudently  told  her  by  whose  advice  he  put 
her  on  her  guard ;  she  as  imprudently  told  Maclaine.  The 
next  time  Donaldson  visited  the  Coffee-room,  and  was 
sitting  in  one  of  the  boxes,  Maclaine  entered,  and  in  a  loud 
tone  said,  "  Mr.  Donaldson,  I  wish  to  spake  to  you  in  a 
private  room."  Mr.  D.  being  unarmed,  and  naturally  afraid 
of  being  alone  with  such  a  man,  said,  in  answer,  that  as 
nothing  could  pass  between  them  that  he  did  not  wish  the 
whole  world  to  know,  he  begged  leave  to  decline  the  in- 
vitation. "  Very  well,"  said  Maclaine,  as  he  left  the  room, 
"  we  shall  meet  again."  A  day  or  two  after,  as  Mr.  Donald- 
son was  walking  near  Richmond,  in  the  evening,  he  saw 
Maclaine  on  horseback ;  but,  fortunately,  at  that  moment,  a 
gentleman's  carriage  appeared  in  view,  when  Maclaine  im- 
mediately turned  his  horse  towards  the  carriage,  and 
Donaldson  hurried  into  the  protection  of  Richmond  as  fast 
as  he  could.  But  for  the  appearance  of  the  carriage,  which 
presented  better  prey,  it  is  probable  that  Maclaine  would 
have  shot  Mr.  Donaldson  immediately. 

Maclaine's  father  was  an  Irish  Dean ;  his  brother  was  a 
Calvinist  minister  in  great  esteem  at  the  Hague.     Maclaine 


*  From  Mr.  Sala's  vivid  "William  Hogarth;"  Comhill  Magazim, 
vol.  i.  p.  428. 


330  CLim  LIFE  OP  LONDON. 

himself  had  been  a  grocer  in-  Welbeck-street,  but  losing  a 
wife  that  he  loved  extremely,  and  by  whom  he  had  one  little 
girl,  he  quitted  his  business  with  two  htmdred  pounds  in  his 
pocket,  which  he  soon  spent,  and  then  took  to  the  road  with 
only  one  companion,  Plunket,  a  journeyman  apothecary. 

Maclaine  was  taken  in  the  autumn  of  1750,  by  selling  a 
laced  waistcoat  to  a  pawnbroker  in  Monmouth-street,  who 
happened  to  carry  it  to  the  very  man  who  had  just  sold  the 
lace.  Maclaine  impeached  his  companion,  Plunket,  but  he 
was  not  taken.  The  former  got  into  verse  :  Gray,  in  his 
"  Long  Story,"  sings  : 

A  sudden  fit  of  ague  shook  him ; 
He  stood  as  mute  as  poor  M'Lean. 

Button's  subsequently  became  a  private  house,  and  here 
Mrs.  Inchbald  lodged,  probably,  after  the  death  of  her 
sister,  for  whose  support  she  practised  such  noble  and 
generous  self-denial.  Mrs.  Inchbald's  income  was  now  172/. 
a  year,  and  we  are  told  that  she  now  went  to  reside  in  a 
boarding-house,  where  she  enjoyed  more  of  the  comforts  of 
ife.  Phillips,  the  publisher,  offered  her  a  thousand  pounds 
for  her  Memoirs,  which  she  declined.  She  died  in  a 
boarding-house  at  Kensington,  on  the  1st  of  August,  1821, 
leaving  about  6000/.  judiciously  divided  amongst  her  rela- 
tives. Her  simple  and  parsimonious  habits  were  very 
strange.  "  Last  Thursday,"  she  writes,  "  I  finished  scouring 
my  bedroom,  while  a  coach  with  a  coronet  and  two  footmen 
waited  at  my  door  to  take  me  an  airing." 

"  One  of  the  most  agreeable  memories  connected  with 
Button's,"  says  Leigh  Hunt,  "  is  that  of  Garth,  aman  whom, 
-for  the  sprightliness  and  generosity  of  his  nature,  it  is  a 
pleasure  to  name.  He  was  one  of  the  most  amiable  and 
intelligent  of  a  most  amiable  and  intelligent  class  of  men — 
the  physicians." 


331 


Dean  Swift  at  Button's. 

It  was  just  after  Queen  Anne's  accession,  that  Swift  made 
acquaintance  with  the  leaders  of  the  wits  at  Button's* 
Ambrose  Philips  refers  to.  him  as  the  strange  clergyman 
whom  the  frequenters  of  the  Coffee-house  had  observed  for 
some  days.  He  knew  no  one,  no  one  knew  him.  He 
would  lay  his  hat  down  on  a  table,  and  walk  up  and  down 
at  a  brisk  pace  for  half  an  hour  without  speaking  to  any 
one,  or  seeming  to  pay  attention  to  anything  that  was  going 
forward.  Then  he  would  snatch  up  his  hat,  pay  his  money 
at  the  bar,  and  walk  off,  without  having  opened  his  lips. 
The  frequenters  of  the  room  had  christened  him  "  the  mad 
parson."  One  evening,  as  Mr.  Addison  and  the  rest  were 
observing  him,  they  saw  him  cast  his  eyes  several  times 
upon  a  gentleman  in  boots,  who  seemed  to  be  just  come  out 
of  the  country.  At  last.  Swift  advanced  towards  this  bucolic 
gentleman,  as  if  intending  to  address  him.  They  were  all 
eager  to  hear  what  the  dumb  parson  had  to  say,  and 
immediately  quitted  their  seats  to  get  near  him.  Swift  went 
up  to  the  country  gentleman,  and  in  a  very  abrupt  manner, 
without  any  previous  salute,  asked  him,  "  Pray,  Sir,  do  you 
know  any  good  weather  in  the  world  ?"  After  staring  a  little 
at  the  singularity  of  Swift's  manner  and  the  oddity  of  the 
question,  the  gentleman  answered,  "  Yes,  Sir,  I  thank  God 
I  remember  a  great  deal  of  good  weather  in  my  time." — 
"That  is  more,"  replied  Swift,  "than  I  can  say;  I  never 
remember  any  weather  that  was  not  too  hot  or  too  cold,  too 
wet  or  too  dry ;  but,  however  God  Almighty  contrives  it,  at 
the  end  of  the  year  'tis  all  very  well." 

Sir  Walter  Scott  gives,  upon  the  authority  of  Dr.  Wall,  of 
Worcester,  who  had  it  from  Dr.  Arbuthnot  himself,  the 
following  anecdote — less  coarse  than  the  version  generally 
told.  Swift  was  seated  by  the  fire  at  Button's  :  there  was 
sand  on  the  floor  of  the  coffee-room,  and  Arbuthnot,  with  a 


332  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

design  to  play  upon  this  original  figure,  offered  him  a  letter, 
which  he  had  been  just  addressing,  saying  at  the  same  time, 
"  There — sand  that." — "  I  have  got  no  sand,"  answered 
Swift,  "but  I  can  help  you  to  a  httle  gravel."  This  he 
said  so  significantly,  that  Arbuthnot  hastily  snatched  back 
his  letter,  to  save  it  from  the  fate  of  the  capital  of  Lilliput. 

Tom's  Coffee-house, 

In  Birchin-lane,  Comhill,  though  in  the  main  a  mercantile 
resort,  acquired  some  celebrity  from  its  having  been  fre- 
quented by  Garrick,  who,  to  keep  up  an  interest  in  the  City, 
appeared  here  about  twice  in  a  winter  at  'Change  time,  when 
it  was  the  rendezvous  of  young  merchants.  Hawkins  says : 
"After  all  that  has  been  said  of  Mr.  Garrick,  envy  must 
own  that  he  owed  his  celebrity  to  his  merit;  and  yet,  of 
that  himself  seemed  so  diffident,  that  he  practised  sundry 
little  but  innocent  arts,  to  insure  the  favour  of  the  public  :" 
yet,  he  did  more.  When  a  rising  actor  complained  to 
Mrs.  Garrick  that  the  newspapers  abused  him,  the  widow 
replied,  "You  should  write  your  own  criticisms;  David 
always  did." 

One  evening.  Murphy  was  at  Tom's,  when  Colley  Gibber 
was  playing  at  whist,  with  an  old  general  for  his  partner. 
As  the  cards  were  dealt  to  him,  he  took  up  every  one  in 
turn,  and  expressed  his  disappointment  at  each  indifferent 
one.  In  the  progress  of  the  game  he  did  not  follow  suit, 
and  his  partner  said,  "  What !  have  you  not  a  spade,  Mr. 
Gibber  ?"  The  latter,  looking  at  his  cards,  answered,  "  Oh 
yes,  a  thousand  ;"  which  drew  a  very  peevish  comment  from 
the  general.  On  which.  Gibber,  who  was  shockingly  ad- 
dicted to  swearing,  replied,  "  Don't  be  angry,  for 1  can 

play  ten  times  worse  if  I  like." 


333 


The  Bedford  Coffee-house,  in  Covent  Garden. 

This  celebrated  resort  once  attracted  so  much  attention 
as  to  have  published,  "  Memoirs  of  the  Bedford  Coffee- 
house,'' two  editions,  1751  and  1763.  It  stood  "under 
the  Piazza,  in  Covent  Garden,"  in  the  north-west  comer, 
near  the  entrance  to  the  theatre,  and  has  long  ceased  to  exist. 

In  the  Connoisseur,  No.  i,  1754,  we  are  assured  that 
"  this  Coflfee-house  is  every  night  crowded  with  men  of  parts. 
Almost  every  one  you  meet  is  a  polite  scholar  and  a  wit. 
Jokes  and  bon-mots  are  echoed  from  box  to  box :  every 
branch  of  literature  is  critically  examined,  and  the  merit  of 
every  production  of  the  press,  or  performance  of  the  theatres, 
weighed  and  determined." 

And  in  the  above-named  "  Memoirs,"  we  read  that  "  this 
spot  has  been  signalized  for  many  years  as  the  emporium  of 
wit,  the  seat  of  criticism,  and  the  standard  of  taste. — Names 
of  those  who  frequented  the  house : — Foote,  Mr.  Fielding, 
Mr.  Woodward,  Mr.  Leone,  Mr.  Murphy,  Mopsy,  Dr. 
Ame.  Dr.  Ame  was  the  only  man  in  a  suit  of  velvet  in 
the  dog-days." 

Stacie  kept  the  Bedford  when  John  and  Henry  Fielding, 
Hogarth,  Churchill,  Woodward,  Lloyd,  Dr.  Goldsmith,  and 
many  others  met  there  and  held  a  gossiping  shilling  rubber 
club.     Henry  Fielding  was  a  very  merry  feUow. 

The  Inspector  appears  to  have  given  rise,  to  this  reign  of 
the  Bedford,  when  there  was  placed  here  the  Lion  from 
Button's,  which  proved  so  serviceable  to  Steele,  and  once 
more  fixed  the  dominion  of  wit  in  Covent  Garden. 

The  reign  of  wit  and  pleasantry  did  not,  however,  cease 
at  the  Bedford  at  the  demise  of  the  Inspector.  A  race  of 
punsters  next  succeeded.  A  particular  box  was  allotted  to 
this  occasion,  out  of  the  hearing  of  the  lady  at  the  bar,  that 
the  double  entendres,  which  were  sometimes  very  indelicate, 
might  not  offend  her. 


334  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

The  Bedford  was  beset  with  scandalous  nuisances,  of 
Which  the  follov/ing  letter,  from  Arthur  Murphy  to  •  Garrick, 
April  lo,  1769,  presents  a  pretty  picture  : 

"  Tiger  Roach  (who  used  to  bully  at  the  Bedford  Goifee- 
house  because  his  name  was  Roach)  is  set  up  by  Wilkes's 
friends  to  burlesque.  Euttrel  and  his  pretensions.  I  own  I 
do  not  know  a  more  ridiculous  circumstance  than  to  be  a 
joint  candidate  with  the  Tiger.  O'Brien  used  to  take  him 
off  very  pleasantly,  and  perhaps  you  may,  from  his  represen- 
tation, have  some  idea  of  this  important  Svight.  He  used  to 
sit  with  a  half-starved  look,  a  black  patch  upon  his  cheek, 
pale  with  the  idea  of  murder,  or  with  rank  cowardice,' a 
quivering  lip,  and  a  downcast  eye.  In  that  manner  he  used 
to  sit  at  a  table  all  alone,  and  his  soliloquy,  interrupted  now 
and  then  with  faint  attempts  to  throv/  off  a  little  saliva,  was 
to  the  following  effect : — '  Hut !  hut !  a  mercer's  'prentice 
with  a  bag-wig; — d — ^n  my  s — 1,  if  I  would  not  skiver  a 
dozen  of  them  like  larks  !  Hut !  hut !  I  don't  understand 
such  airs  ! — I'd  cudgel  him  back,. breast,  and  belly,  for  three 
skips  of  a  louse  ! — How  do  you  do,  Pat?  Hut !  hut !  God's 
blood — ^Larry,  I'm  glad  to  see  you  j — 'Prentices  !  a  fine  thing 
indeed  ! — Hut !  hut !  How  do  you,  Dominick  ! — D— n  niy 
s — 1,  what's  here  to  do !'  These  were  the  meditations  of 
this  agreeable  youth.  From  one  of  these  reveries  he  started 
up  one  night,  when  I  was  there,  cstUed  a  Mr.  Bagnell  out  of 
the  room,  and  most  heroically  stabbed  him  in  the  dark,  the 
other  having  no  weapon  to  defend  himself  with.  In  this 
career  the  Tiger  persisted,  till  at  length  a  Mr.  Lennard 
brandished  a  whip  over  his  head,  and  stood  in  a  menacing 
attitude,  commandiBg  him  to  ask  pardon  directly.  The 
Tiger  shrank  from  the  danger,  and  with  a  faint  voice  pro- 
nounced— '  Hut !  what  signifies  it  between  you  and  me  ? 
Well!  well!  I  ask  your  pardon.'  'Speak  louder.  Sir;  I 
don't  hear  a  word  you  say.'  And  indeed  he  was  so  very  tall, 
that  it  seemed  as  if  the  sound,  sent  feebly  from  below,  could 


BEDFORD  COFFEE-HOUSE,  COVENT-GARDEN.     335 

not  ascend  to  such  a  height.     This  is  the  hero  who  is  to 
figure  at  Brentford." 

Foote's  favourite  Coffee-house  was  the  Bedford.  He  was 
also  a  constant  frequenter  of  Tom's,  and  took  a  lead  in  the 
Club  held  there,  and  already  described.* 

Dr.  Barrowby,  the  well-known  newsmonger  of  the  Bedford, 
and  the  satirical  critic  of  the  day,  has  left  this  whole-length 
sketch  of  Foote  : — "  One  evening  (he  says);  he  saw  a  young 
man  extravagantly  dressed  out  in  a  frock  suit  of  green  and 
silver  lace,  bag-wig,  sword,  bouquet,  and  point-ruffles,  enter 
the  room  (at  the  Bedford),  and  immediately  join  the  critical 
circle  at  the  upper  end.     Nobody  recognised  him ;  but  such 
was  the  ease  of  his  bearing,  and  the  point  of  humour  and 
remark  with  which  he  at  once  took  up  the  conversation, 
that  his  presence  seemed  to  disconcert  no  one,  and  a  sort  of 
pleased  buzz-  of '  who  is  he  ?'  was  still  going  round  the  room 
unanswered,  when  a  handsome  carriage  stopped  at  the  door  ; 
he  rose,  and  quitted  the  room,  and  the  servants  announced 
that  his  name  was  Foote,  and  that  he  was  a  young  gentleman 
of  family  and  fortune,  a  student  of  the  Inner  Temple,  and 
that  the  carriage  had   called   for  him  on  its  way  \a  the 
assembly  of  a  lady  of  fashion."     Dr.  Barrowby  once  turned 
the  laugh  against  Foote  at  the  Bedford,  when  he  was  osten- 
tatiously  showing  his   gold   repeater,   with  the  remark — 
"  Why,  my  watch  does  not  go !"     "  It  soon  will  go"  quietly 
remarked  the  Doctor.     Young  Collins,  the  poet,  who  came 
to  town  in  1744  to  seek  his  fortune,  made  his  way,  to  the 
Bedford,  where  Foote  was  supreme  among  the    wits   and 
critics.  •'  Like  Foote,  Collins  was  fond  of  fine  clothes,  and 
walked  about  with  a  feather  in  his  hat,  very  unlike  a  young 
man  who  had  not  a  single  guinea  he  could  call  his  own.     A 
letter  of  the  time  tells  us  that  "  Collins  was  an  acceptable 
companion  everywhere ;   and  among   the   gentlemen  who 


See  "Club  at  Tom's  Coffee-house,"  pp.  136—140. 


336  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDOKT. 

loved  him  for  a  genius,  may  be  reckoned  the  Doi^tois 
Armstrong,  Barrowby,  Hill,  Messrs.  Quin,  Garrick,  and 
Foote,  who  frequently  took  his  opinion  upon  their  pieces 
before  they  were  seen  by  the  public.  He  was  particularly 
noticed  by  the  geniuses  who  frequented  the  Bedford  and 
Slaughter's  Coffee-houses."* 

Ten  years  later  (1754)  we  find  Foote  again  supreme  in  his 
critical  corner  at  the  Bedford.  The  regulaj  frequenters  of 
the  room  strove  to  get  admitted  to  his  party  at  supper ;  and 
others  got  as  near  as  they  could  to  the  table,  as  the  only 
humour  flowed  from  Foote's  tongue.  The  Bedford  was  now 
in  its  highest  repute. 

Foote  and  Garrick  often  met  at  the  Bedford,  and  many 
and  sharp  were  their  encounters.  They  were  the  two  great 
rivals  of  the  day.  Foote  usually  attacked,  and  Garrick,  who 
had  many  weak  points,  was  mostly  the  sufferer.  Garrick,  in 
early  life,  had  been  in  the  wine  trade,  and  had  supplied  the 
Bedford  with  wine;  he  was  thus  described  by  Foote  as 
living  in  Durham-yard,  with  three  quarts  of  vinegar  in  the 
cellar,  calling  himself  a  wine-merchant.  How  Foote  must 
have  abused  the  Bedford  wine  of  this  period  ! 

One  night,  Foote  came  into  the  Bedford,  where  Garrick 
was  seated,  and  there  gave  him  an  account  of  a  most 
wonderful  actor  he  had  just  seen.  Garrick  was  on  the 
tenters  of  suspense,  and  there  Foote  kept  him  a  full  hour. 
At  last  Foote,  compassionating  the  suffering  listener,  brought 
the  attack  to  a  close  by  asking  Garrick  what  he  thought  of 
Mr.  Pitt's  histrionic  talents,  when  Garrick,  glad  of  the 
release,  declared  that  if  Pitt  had  chosen  the  stage,  he  might 
have  been  the  first  actor  upon  it. 

One  night,  Garrick  and  Foote  were  about  to  leave  the 
Bedford  together,  when  the  latter,  in  paying  the  bill,  dropped 
a  guinea;   and  not  finding  it  at  once,   said,  "Where   on 


*  Memoir  by  Moy  Thomas,  prefixed  to  CoUins's  Poetical  Works. 
Bell  and  Daldy,  1858. 


Hand  and.  Shears,  Smithfield. 
{Noted  House  for  Tailors  and  Actors.) 


The  Old  White  Hart,  Bishopsgate,  Jbuilt  in  1480, 


BEDFORD  COFFEE-HOUSE,  COVENT  GARDEN.    337 

earth  can  it  be  gone  to  ?" — "  Gone  to  the  devil,  I  think," 
replied  Garrick,  who  had  assisted  in  the  search. — "  Well 
said,  David !"  was  Foote's  reply,  "  let  you  alone  for  making 
a  guinea  go  fiirther  than  anybody  else." 

Churchill's  quarrel  with  Hogarth  began  at  the  shilling 
rubber  club,  in  the  parlour  of  the  Bedford ;  when  Hogarth 
used  some  very  insulting  language  towards  Churchill,  who 
resented  it  in  the  Epistle.  This  quarrel  showed  more 
venom  than  wit : — "  Never,"  says  Walpole,  "  did  two  angry 
men  of  their  abilities  throw  mud  with  less  dexterity." 

Woodward,  the  comedian,  mostly  lived  at  the  Bedford, 
was  intimate  with  Stacie,  the  landlord,  and  gave  him  his 
(W.'s)  portrait,  with  a  mask  in  his  hand,  one  of  the  early 
pictures  by  Sir  Joshua  Reynolds.  Stacie  played  an  excellent 
game  at  whist  One  morning,  about  two  o'clock,  one  of 
his  waiters  awoke  him  to  tell  him  that  a  nobleman  had 
knocked  him  up,  and  had  desired  him  to  call  his  master  to 
play  a  rubber  with  him  for  one  hundred  guineas.  Stacie 
got  up,  dressed  himself,  won  the  money,  and  was  in  bed  and 
asleep,  all  within  an  hour. 

Of  two  houses  in  the  Piazza,  built  for  Francis,  Earl  of 
Bedford,  we  obtain  some  minute  information  from  the  lease 
granted  in  1634,  to  Sir  Edmxmd  Vemey,  Knight  Marshal  to 
ICing  Charles  I. ;  these  two  houses  being  just  then  erected 
as  part  of  the  'Piazza..  There  are  also  included  in  the  lease 
the  "  yardes,  stables,  coach-houses,  and  gardens  now  layd, 
or  hereafter  to  be  layd,  to  the  said  messuages,"  which 
description  of  the  premises  seems  to  identify  them  as  the 
two  houses  at  the  southern  end  of  the  Piazza,  adjoining  ta 
Great  Russell-street,  and  now  occupied  as  the  Bedford. 
Coffee-house  and  Hotel.  They  are  either  the  same  premises, , 
or  they  immediately  adjoin  the  premises,  occupied  a  century, 
later  as  the  Bedford  Coffee-house.  (Mr.  John  Bruce„ 
Archceolog^a,  xxxv.  195.)  The  lease  contains  a  minute  speci- 
fication of  the  landlord's  fittmgs  and  customary  accommo- 
dations of  what  were  then  some  of  the  most  fashionable 


33S  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

residences  in  the  metropolis.  In  the  attached  schedule  is 
the  use  of  the  wainscot,  enumerating  separately  every  piece 
of  wainscot  on  the  premises.  The  tenant  is  bound  to  keep 
in  repair  the  "  Portico .  Walke  "  underneath  the  premises  ; 
he  is  at  all  times  to  have  "  ingresse,  egresse  and  regresse," 
through  the  Portico  Walk ;  and  he  may  "  expel,  put,  or 
drive  away  out  of  the  said  walke  any  youth  or  other  person 
whatsoever  which  shall  eyther  play  or  be  in  the  said  Portico 
Walke  in  offence  or  disturbance  to  the  said  Sir  Edmund 
Vemey." 

The  inventory  of  the  fixtures  is  curious.  It  enumerates  every  apart- 
ment, from  the  beer-cellar,  and  the  strong  beer- cellar,  the  scullery,  the 
pantry,  and  the  buttery,  to  the  dining  and  vi^ithdrawing  rooms.  Most 
of  the  rooms  had  casement  windows,  but  the  dining-room  next  Russell- 
street,  and  other  principal  apartments,  had  "shutting  windowes."  The 
principal  rooms  were  also  "double  creasted  round  for  hangings,"  and 
were  wainscoted  round  the  chimney-pieces,  and  doors  and  windows. 
In  one  case,  a  study,  "  south  towards  Russell-street,  the  whole  room  was 
wainscoted,  and  the  hall  in  part."  Most  of  the  windows  had  "soil- 
boards"  attached;  the  room,-doors  had  generally  "stock-locks,"  in 
some  places  "  spring  plate  locks "  and  spring  bolts.  There  is  not 
mentioned  anything  approaching  to  a  fire-grate  in  any  of  the  rooms, 
except  perhaps  in  the  kitchen,  where  Occurs  "a  travers  barre  for  the 
chimney." 

Macklin's  Coffee-house  Oratory. 

After  Macklin  had  retired  from  the  stage,  in  1754,  he 
opened  that  portion  of  the  Piazza-houses,  in  Covent  Garden, 
which  is  now  the  Tavistock  Hotel.  Here  he  fitted  up  a 
large  coffee-room,  a  theatre  for  oratory,  and  other  apart- 
ments. To  a  three-shilling  ordinary  he  added  a  shilling 
lecture,  or  "  School  of  Oratory  and  Criticism  f  he  presided 
at  the  dinner-table,  and  carved  for  the  company;  after 
which  he  played  a  sort  of  "  Oracle  of  Eloquence."  Fielding 
has  happily  sketched  him  in  his  "  Voyage  to  Lisbon : 
"  Unfortunately  for  the  fishmongers  of  London,  the  Dory 
only  resides  in  the  Devonshire  seas  ;  for  could  any  of  this 
company  only  convey  one  to  the  Temple  of  luxury  under 


MACKLIN'S  COFFEE-HOUSE  ORATORY.  339 

the  Piazza,  where  Macklin,  the  high  priest,  daily  serves  up 
his  rich  offerings,  great  would  be  the  reward  of  that  fish- 
monger." 

In  the  Lecture,  Macklin  undertook  to  make  each  of  his 
audience  an  orator,  by  teaching  him  how  to  speak.  He 
invited  hints  and  discussions ;  the  novelty  of  the  scheme 
attracted  the  curiosity  of  numbers;  and  this  curiosity  he 
still  further  excited  by  a  very  uncommon  controversy  which 
now  subsisted,  either  in  imagination  or  reality,  between  him 
and  Foote,  who  abused  one  another  very  openly — "  Squire 
Sammy  "  having  for  his  purpose  engaged  the  Little  Theatre 
in  the  Haymarket. 

Besides  this  personal  attack,  various  subjects  were  debated 
here  in  the  manner  of  the  Robin  Hood  Society,  which  filled 
the  orator's  pocket,  and  proved  his  rhetoric  of  some  value. 

Here  is  one  of  his  combats  with  Foote.  The  subject  was 
Duelling  in  Ireland,  which  MackUn  had  illustrated  as  far  as 
the  reign  of  Elizabeth.  Foote  cried  "  Order ;"  he  had  a  ques- 
tion to  put.  "  Well,  Sir,"  said  Macklin,  "  what  have  you  to 
say  upon  this  subject  ?"  "  I  think.  Sir,"  said  Foote,  "  this 
matter  might  be  settled  in  a  few  words.  What  o'clock  is  it, 
Sir  ?"  MackUn  could  not  possibly  see  what  the  clock  had  to 
do  with  a  dissertation  upon  Duelling,  but  gruffly  reported  the 
hour  to  be  half-past  nine.  "  Very  well,"  said  Foote,  "  about 
this  time  of  the  night  every  gentleman  in  Ireland  that  can 
possibly  afford  it  is  in  his  third  bottle  of  r.laret,  and  therefore 
in  a  fair  way  of  getting  drunk  ;  and  from  .  drunkenness  pro 
ceeds  quarrelling,  and  from  quarelling,  duelling,  and  so 
there's  an  end  of  the  chapter."  The  company  were  much 
obliged  to  Foote  for  his  interference,  the  hour  being 
considered ;  though  Macklin  did  not  relish  the  abridgment. 

The  success  of  Foote's  fun  upon  Macklin's  Lectures,  led 
him  to  establish  a  summer  entertainment  of  his  own  at  the 
Haymarket  He  took  up  Macklin's  notion  of  applying 
Greek  Tragedy  to  modem  subjects,  and  the  squib  was  so 
successful  that  Foote  cleared  by  it  500/.   in  five  nights, 


34°  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

while  the  great  Piazza  Coffee-room  in  Covent  Garden  was 

shut  up,  and  Macklin  in  the  Gazette  as  a  bankrupt 

But  when  the  great  plan  of  Mr.  Macklin  proved  abortive, 

when  as  he  said  in  a  former  prologue,  upon  a  nearly  similar 

occasion — 

From  scheming,  fretting,  famine,  and  despair, 
We  saw  to  grace  restor'd  an  exiled  player  ; 

when  the  town  was  sated  with  the  seemingly-concocted 
quarrel  between  the  two  theatrical  geniuses,  Macklin  locked 
up  his  doors,  all  animosity  was  laid  aside,  and  they  came 
and  shook  hands  at  the  Bedford ;  the  group  resumed  their 
appearance,  and,  with  a  new  master,  a  new  set  of  customers 
was  seen. 

Tom  King's  Coffee-house. 

This  was  one  of  the  old  night-houses  of  Covent  Garden 
Market :  it  was  a  rude  shed  immediately  beneath  the  portico 
of  St.  Paul's  Church,  and  was  one  "well  known  to  all 
gentlemen  to  whom  beds  are  unknown."  Fielding  in  one  of 
his  Prologues  says  : 

What  rake  is  ignorant  of  King's  Coffee-house  ? 

It  is  in  the  background  of  Hogarth's  print  of  Morning,  where 
the  prim  maiden  lady,  walking  to  church,  is  soured  with 
seeing  two  fuddled  beaux  from  King's  Coffee-house  caressing 
two  frail  women.  At  the  door  there  is  a  drunken  row,  in 
which  swords  and  cudgels  are  the  weapons. 

Harwood's  Alumni  Etonenses, -p.  393,  in  the  account  of  the 
Boys  elected  from  Eton  to  King's  College,  contains  this 
entry:  "A.D.  17 13,  Thomas  King,  bom  at  West  Ashton, 
in  Wiltshire,  went  away  scholar  in  apprehension  that  his 
fellowship  would  be  denied  him  ;  and  afterwards  kept  that 
Coffee-house  in  Covent  Garden,  which  was  called  by  his 
own  name." 

Moll  King  was  landlady  after  Tom's  deatn :  she  was 
witty,  and  her  house  was  much  frequented,  though  it  was 


TOM  KINGS  COFFEE-HOUSE.  341 

little  better  than  a  shed.  "  Noblemen  and  the  first  beaux" 
said  Stacie,  "  after  leaving  Court  would  go  to  her  house  in 
full  dress,  with  swords  and  bags,  and  in  rich  brocaded  silk 
coats,  and  walked  and  conversed  with  persons  of  every 
description.  She  would  serve  chimney-sweepers,  gardeners, 
and  the  market-people  in  common  with  her  lords  of  the 
highest  rank.  Mr.  Apreece,  a  tall  thin  man  in  rich  dress, 
was  her  constant  customer.  He  was  called  Cadwallader  by 
the  frequenters  of  Moll's."  It  is  not  surprising  that  Moll 
was  often  fined  for  keeping  a  disorderly  house.  At  length, 
she  retired  from  business — ^and  the  pillory — to  Hampstead, 
where  she  lived  on  her  ill-earned  gains,  but  paid  for  a  pew 
in  church,  and  was  charitable  at  appointed  seasons,  and  died 
in  peace  in  1747. 

It  was  at  that  period  that  Mother  Needham,  Mother 
Douglass  {alias,  according  to  Foote's  Minor,  Mother  Cole), 
and  Moll  King,  the  tavern-keepers  and  the  gamblers,  took 
possession  of  premises  abdicated  by  people  of  fashion. 
Upon  the  south  side  of  the  market-sheds  was  the  noted 
"  Finish,"  kept  by  Mrs.  Butler,  open  all  night,  the  last  of  the 
Garden  taverns,  and  only  cleared  away  in  1829.  This  house 
was  originally  the  Queen's  Head.  Shuter  was  pot-boy  here. 
Here  was  a  picture  of  the  Hazard  Club,  at  the  Bedford :  it 
was  painted  by  Hogarth  and  filled  a  panel  of  the  Cofiee- 
room. 

Captain  Laroon,  an  amateur  painter  of  the  time  of 
Hogarth,  who  often  witnessed  the  nocturnal  revels  at  Moll 
King's,  made  a  large  and  spirited  drawing  of  the  interior  of 
her  Coffee-house,  which  was  at  Strawberry  Hill.  It  was- 
bought  for  Walpole,  by  his  printer,  some  seventy-five  years 
since.  There  is  also  an  engraving  of  the  same  room,  in  which 
is  introduced  a  whole-length  of  Mr.  Apreece,  in  a  full  court- 
dress  :   an  impression  of  this  plate  is  extremely  rare. 

Justice  Welsh  used  to  say  that  Captain  Laroon,  his  friend 
Captain  Montague,  and  their  constant  companion.  Little 
Casey,  the  Link-boy,  were  the  three  most  troublesome  of  all 


342  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

his  Bow-street  visitors.  The  portraits  of  these  three  heroes 
are  introduced  in  Boitard's  rare  print  of  the  "  Covent  Garden 
Morning  Frolic."  Laroon  is  brandishing  an  artichoke. 
C.  Montague  is  seated,  drunk,  on  the  top  of  Bet  Careless's 
sedan,  which  is  preceded  by  Little  Casey,  as  a  link-boy. 

Captain 'Laroon  also  painted  a  large  folding-screen  ;  the 
figures  were  full  of  broad  humour,  two  representing  a  Quack 
Doctor  and  his  Merry  Andrew,  before  the  gaping  crowd. 

Laroon  was  deputy-chairman,  under  Sir  Robert  Walpole, 
of  a  Club,  consisting  of  six  gentlemen  only,  who  met,  at 
stated  times,  in  the  drawing-room  of  Scott,  the  marine 
painter,  in  Henrietta-street,  Covent  Garden ;  and  it  was  una- 
nimously agreed  by  the  members,  that  they  should  be  at- 
tended by  Scott's  wife  only,  who  was  a  remarkable  witty 
woman.  Laroon  made  a  beautiful  conversation  drawing  of 
the  Club,  which  is  highly  prized  by  J.  T.  Smith. 

Piazza  Coffee-house. 

This  establishment,  at  the  north-eastern  angle  of  Covent 
Garden  Piazza,  appears  to  have  originated  with  Macklin's ; 
for  we  read  in  an  advertisement  in  the  Ptiblic  Advertiser, 
March  5,  1756  :  "the  Great  Piazza  Coffee-room,  in  Covent 
Garden." 

The  Piazza  was  much  frequented  by  Sheridan ;  and  here 
is  located  the  well-known  anecdote  told  of  his  coolness 
during  the  burning  of  Drury-lane  Theatre,  in  1809.  It  is 
said  that  as  he  sat  at  the  Piazza,  during  the  fire,  taking  some 
refireshment,  a  friend  of  his  having  remarked  on  the  philo- 
sophical calmness  with  which  he  bore  his  misfortune,  Sheridan 
replied  :  "  A  man  may  surely  be  allowed  to  take  a  glass  of 
wine  by  his  ow7i  fireside.'' 

Sheridan  and  John  Kemble  ofteu  dined  together  at  the 
Piazza,  to  be  handy  to  the  theatre.  During  Kemble's  ma- 
nagement, Sheridan  had  occasion  to  make  a  complaint,  which 
brought  a  "nervous"  letter  from  Kemble,  to  which  Sheridan's 


THE  CHAPTER  COFFEE-HOUSE.  343 

reply  is  amusing  enough.  Thus,  he  writes :  "  that  the 
management  of  a  theatre  is  a  situation  capable  of  becoming 
troublesome,  is  information  which  I  do  not  want,  and  a  dis- 
covery which  I  thought  you  had  made  long  ago."  Sheridan 
then  treats  Kemble's  letter  as  "  a  nervous  flight,"  not  to  be 
noticed  seriously,  adding  his  anxiety  for  the  interest  of  the 
theatre,  and  alluding  to  Kemble's  touchiness  and  reserve  j 
and  thus  concludes : 

"  If  there  is  anything  amiss  in  your  mind  not  arising  from 
the  trouhlesomeness  of  your  situation,  it  is  childish  and  un- 
manly not  to  disclose  it.  The  frankness  with  which  I  have 
dealt  towards  you  entities  me  to  expect  that  you  should  have 
done  so. 

"  But  I  have  no  reason  to  believe  this  to  be  the  case ; 
and  attributing  your  letter  to  a  disorder  which  I  know  ought 
not  to  be  indulged,  I  prescribe  that  thou  shalt  keep  thine 
appointment  at  the  Piazza  Coffee-house,  to-morrow  at  five, 
and,  taking  four  bottles  of  claret  instead  of  three,  to  which 
in  sound  health  you  might  stint  yourself,  forget  that  you 
ever  wrote  the  letter,  as  I  shall  that  I  ever  received  it. 

"R.  B.  Sheridan." 

The  Piazza  fagade,  and  interior,  were  of  Gothic  design. 
The  house  has  been  taken  down,  and  in  its  place  was  built 
the  Floral  Hall,  after  the  Crystal  Palace  model. 

The  Chapter  Coffee-house. 

In  pp.  153-158,  we  described  this  as  a  literary  place  of 
resort  in  Paternoster  Row,  more  especially  in  connexion 
v/ith  the  Wittinagemot  of  the  last  century. 

A  very  interesting  account  of  the  Chapter,  at  a  later 
period  (1848),  is  given  by  Mrs.  Gaskell.  The  Coffee-house 
is  thus  described  : — 

"Paternoster  Row  was  for  many  years  sacred  to  pub- 
lishers. It  is  a  narrow  flagged  street,  lying  under  the  shadow 
of  St.  Paul's ;  at  each  end  there  are  posts  placed,  so  as  to 


344  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON: 

prevent  the  passage  of  carriages,  and  thus  preserve  a  solemn 
silence  for  the  deliberations  of  the  '  fathers  of  the  Row.' 
The  dull  warehouses  on  each  side  are  mostly  occupied  at 
present  by  wholesale  stationers ;  if  they  be  publishers'  shops, 
they  show  no  attractive  front  to  the  dark  and  narrow  street. 
Halfway  up  on  the  left-hand  side  is  the  Chapter  CoiFee- 
house.  I  visited  it  last  June.  It  was  then  unoccupied  ;  it 
had  the  appearance  of  a  dwelling-house  two  hundred  years 
old  or  so,  such  as  one  sometimes  sees  in  ancient  country 
towns  ;  the  ceilings  of  the  small  rooms  were  low,  and  had 
heavy  beams  running  across  them;  the  walls  were  wainscoted 
breast-high;  the  staircase  was  shallow,  broad,  and  dark, 
taking  up  much  space  in  the  centre  of  the  house.  This  then 
was  the  Chapter  Coffee-house,  which,  a  century  ago,  was  the 
resort  of  all  the  booksellers  and  publishers,  and  where  the 
literary  hacks,  the  critics,  and  even  the  wits  used  to  go  in 
search  of  ideas  or  employment.  This  was  the  place  about, 
which  Chatterton  wrote,  in  those  delusive  letters  he  sent  to 
his  mother  at  Bristol,  while  he  was  star\'ing  in  London. 

"  Years  later  it  became  the  tavern  frequented  by  university 
men,  and  country  clergymen,  who  were  up  in  London  for  a 
few  days,  and,  having  no  private  friends  or  access  into  so- 
ciety, were  glad  to  learn  what  was  going  on  in  the  world  of 
letters,  from  the  conversation  which  they  were  sure  to  hear 
in  the  coffee-room.  It  was  a  place  solely  frequented  by 
men ;  I  believe  there  was  but  one  female  servant  in  the 
house.  Few  people  slept  there :  some  of  the  stated  meetings 
of  the  trade  were  held  in  it,  as  they  had  been  for  more  than 
a  century ;  and  occasionally  country  booksellers,  with  now 
and  then  a  clergyman,  resorted  to  it.  In  the  long,  low, 
dingy  room  upstairs,  the  meetings  of  the  trade  were  held. 
The  high  narrow  windows  looked  into  the  gloomy  Row ; 
nothing  of  motion  or  of  change  could  be  seen  in  the  grim 
dark  houses  opposite,  so  near  and  close,  although  the  whole 
breadth  of  the  Row  was  between.  The  mighty  roar  of  London 
was  round,  like  the  sound  of  an  unseen  ocean,  yet  every 


LONDON  COFFEE-HOUSE.  345 

foot-fall  on  the  pavement  below  might  be  heard  distinctly, 
in  that  unfrequented  street." 

Goldsmith  frequented  the  Chapter,  and  always  occupied 
one  place,  which  for  many  years  after  was  the  seat  of  literary 
honour  there. 

There  are  Leather  Tokens  of  the  Chapter  Coffee-house  in 
existence. 

Child's  Coffee-house, 

In  St.  Paul's  Churchyard,  was  one  of  the  Spectator's  houses. 
"  Sometimes,"  he  says,  "  I  smoke  a  pipe  at  Child's,  and 
whilst  I  seem  attentive  to  nothing  but  the  Postman,  over- 
hear the  conversation  of  every  table  in  the  room."  It  was 
much  frequented  by  the  clergy ;  for  the  Spectator,  No.  609, 
notices  the  mistake  of  a  country  gentleman  in  taking  all 
persons  in  scarfs  for  Doctors  of  Divinity,  since  only  a  scarf 
of  the  first  magnitude  entitles  him  to  "  the  appellation  of 
Doctor  from  his  landlady  and  the  Boy  at  Child's." 

Child's  was  the  resort  of  Dr.  Mead,  and  other  professional 
men  of  eminence.  The  Fellows  of  the  Royal  Society  came 
here.  Whiston  relates  that  Sir  Hans  Sloane,  Dr.  Halley, 
and  he  were  once  at  Child's  when  Dr.  H.  asked  him,  W., 
why  he  was  not  a  member  of  the  Royal  Society  ?  Whiston 
answered,  because  they  durst  not  choose  a  heretic.  Upon 
which  Dr.  H.  said,  if  Sir  Hans  Sloane  would  propose  him, 
W.,  he,  Dr,  H.,  would  second  it,  which  was  done  ac- 
cordingly. 

The  propinquity  of  Child's  to  the  Cathedral  and  Doctors' 
Commons,  made  it  the  resort  of  the  clergy,  and  ecclesiastical 
loungers.  In  one  respect,  Child's  was  superseded  by  the 
Chapter,  in  Paternoster  Row. 

London  Coffee-house. 

This  Coffee-house  was  established  previous  to  the  year 
1 73 1,  for  we  find  of  it  the  following  advertisement : — 


346  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

"May,  1731. 
"Whereas,  it  is  customary  for  Coffee-houses  and  other 
Public-housesj  to  take  8j.  for  a  quart  of  Arrack,  and  6j.  for 
a  quart  of  Brandy  or  Rum,  made  into  Punch  : 

"  This  is  to  give  Notice, 
"  That  James  Ashley  has  opened,  on  Ludgate  Hill,  the 
London  Coffee-house,  Punch-house,  Dorchester  Beer  and 
Welsh  Ale  Warehouse,  where  the  finest  and  best  old  Arrack, 
Rum,  and  French  Brandy  is  made  into  Punch,  with  the 
other  of  the  finest  ingredients — viz.,  A  quart  of  Arrack  made 
into  Punch  for  six  shillings ;  and  so  in  proportion  to  the 
smallest  quantity,  which  is  half-a-quartem  for  fourpence 
halfpenny.  A  quart  of  Rum  or  Brandy  made  into  Punch 
for  four  shillings;  and  so  in  proportion  to  the  smallest 
quantity,  which  is  half-a-quartem  lor  fourpence  halfpenny ; 
and  gentlemen  may  have  it  as  soon  made  as  a  gill  of  Wine 
can  be  drawn." 

The  premises  occupy  a  Roman  site;  for,  in  1800,  in  the 
rear  of  the  house,  in  a  bastion  of  the  City  Wall,  was  found 
a  sepulchral  monument,  dedicated  to  Claudina  Martina  by 
her  husband,  a  provincial  Roman  soldier ;  here  also  were 
found  a  fragment  of  a  statue  of  Hercules  and  a  female  head. 
In  front  of  the  Coffee-house,  immediately  west  of  St.  Martin's 
Church,  stood  Ludgate. 

The  London  Coffee-house  (now  a  tavern)  is  noted  for  its 
publishers'  sales  of  stock  and  copyrights.  It  was  within  the 
rules  of  the  Fleet  prison :  and  in  the  Coffee-house  are 
"  locked  up  "  for  the  night  such  juries  from  the  Old  Bailey 
Sessions,  as  cannot  agree  upon  verdicts.  The  house  was 
long  kept  by  the  grandfather  and  father  of  Mr.  John  Leech, 
the  celebrated  artist. 

A  singular  incident  occurred  at  the  London  Coffee-house, 
many  years  since:  Mr.  Brayley,  the  topographer,  was  present 
at  a  party  here,  when  Mr.  Broadhurst,  the  famous  tenor,  by 
singing  a  high  note,  caused  a  wine-glass  on  the  table  to 
break,  -the  bowl  being  separated  from  the  stem. 


TURK'S  HEAD  COFFEE-HOUSE.  347 

At  the  bar  of  the  London  Coffee-house  was  sold  Rowley's 
British  Cephalic  Snuff. 

Turk's  Head  CofFee-house  in  Change  Alley. 

From  The  Kingdom's  Intelligencer,  a  weekly  paper,  pub- 
lished by  authority,  in  1662,  we  learn  that  there  had  just 
been  opened  a  "  new  Coffee-house,"  with  the  sign  of  the 
Turk's  Head,  where  was  sold  by  retail  "  the  right  Coffee- 
powder,"  from  4?.  to  (>s.  8ci.  per  pound ;  that  pounded  in  a 
mortar,  2s. ;  East  India  berry,  is.  dd. ;  and  the  right  Turkic 
berry,  well  garbled,  at  3^.  "  The  ungarbled  for  lesse,  with 
directions  how  to  use  the  same."  Also  Chocolate  at  2.3.  6d. 
per  pound  ;  the  perfumed  from  4s.  to  los.  ;  "  also,.  Sherbets 
made  in  Turkic,  of  lemons,  roses,  and  violets  perfumed ;  and 
Tea,  or  Chaa,  according  to  its  goodness.  The  house  seal 
was  Morat  the  Great.  Gentlemen  customers  and  acquain- 
tances are  (the  next  New  Year's  Day)  invited  to  the  sign  of 
the  Great  Turk  at  this  new  Coffee-house,  where  Coffee  will 
be  on  free  cost."  The  sign,  was  also  Morat  the  Great. 
Morat  figures  as  a  tyrant  in  Dryden's  "Aurung  Zebe."  There 
is  a  token  of  this  house,  with  the  Sultan's  head,  in  the 
Beaufoy  collection. 

Another  token  in  the  same  collection,  is  of  unusual  ex- 
cellence, probably  by  John  Roettier.  It  has  on  the  obverse, 
Morat  y"  Great  Men  did  mee  call, — Sultan's  head  ;  reverse, 
Where  care  I  came  I  conquered  all. — In  the  field,  Coffee, 
Tobacco,  Sherbet,  Tea,  Chocolate,  Retail  in  Exchange  Alee. 
"  The  word  Tea,"  says  Mr.  Burn,  "  occurs  on  no  other  tokens 
than  those  issued  from  '  the  Great  Turk '  Coffee-house,  in 
Exchange-alley;"  in  one  of  its  advertisements,  1662,  tea  is 
from  6s.  to  6oj.  a  pound. 

Competition  arose.  One  Constantine  Jennings  in  Thread- 
needle-street,  over  against  St.  Christopher's  Church,  ad- 
vertised that  coffee,  chocolate,  sherbet,  and  tea,  the 
right  Turkey  berry,  may  be  had  as  cheap    and  as   good 


345  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

of  him  as  is  any  where  to  be  had  for  money;  and  that 
people  may  there  be  taught  to  prepare  the  said  liquors 
gratis. 

Pepys,  in  his  "Diary,"  tells,  Sept.  25,  1669,  of  his  sending 
for  "a  cup  of  Tea,  a  China  Drink,  he  had  not  before 
tasted."  Henry  Bennet,  Earl  of  Arlington,  about  1666,  in- 
troduced tea  at  Court.  And,  in  his  "  Sir  Charles  Sedley's 
Mulberry  Garden,"  we  are  told  that  "  he  who  wished  to  be 
considered  a  man  of  fashion  always  drank  wine-and-water  at 
dinner,  and  a  dish  of  tea  afterwards."  These  details  are  con- 
densed from  Mr.  Burn's  excellent "  Beaufoy  Catalogue."  and 
edition,  1855. 

In  Gerard-street,  Soho,  also,  was  another  Turk's  Head 
Coffee-house,  where  was  held  a  Turk's  Head  Society;  in 
1777,  we  find  Gibbon  writing  to  Garrick  :  "  At  this  time  of 
year,  (Aug.  14,)  the  Society  of  the  Turk's  Head  can  no  longer 
be  addressed  as  a  corporate  body,  and  most  of  the  individual 
members  are  probably  disperssd:  Adam  Smith,  in  Scotland; 
Burke  in  the  shades  of  Beaconsfield  ;  Fox,  the  Lord  or  the 
devil  knows  where." 

This  place  was  a  kind  of  head-quarters  for  the  Loyal 
Association  during  the  Rebellion  of  1745. 

Here  was  founded  "The  Literary  Club,"  already  described 
in  pp.  174—187. 

In  1753,  several  artists  met  at  the  Turk's  Head,  and  from 
thence  their  Secretary,  Mr.  F.  M.  Newton,  dated  a  printed 
letter  to  the  Artists  to  form  a  select  body  for  the  Protection 
and  Encouragement  of  Art.  Another  Society  of  Artists 
met  in  Peter's-court,  St.  Martin's-lane,  from  the  year 
1739  to  1769.  After  continued  squabbles,  which  lasted 
for  many  years,  the  principal  Artists  met  together  at  the 
Turk's  Head,  where  many  others  having  joined  them,  they 
petitioned  the  King  (George  III.)  to  become  patron  of  a 
Royal  Academy  of  Art.  His  Majesty  consented ;  and  the 
new  Society  took  a  room  in  Pall  Mall,  opposite  to  Market- 
lane,  where  they  remained  until  the  King,  in  the  year  1771, 


SQUIRE'S  COFFEE-HOUSE.  349 

granted  them  apartments  in  Old  Somerset  House.—/.  T. 
Smith. 

The  Turk's  Head  Coffee-house,  No.  142,  in  the  Strand, 
was  a  favourite  supping-house  with  Dr.  Johnson  and  Boswell, 
in  whose  Life  of  Johnson  are  several  entries,  commencing 
with  1763 — "At  night,  Mr.  Johnson  and  I  supped  in  a 
private  room  at  the  Turk's  Head  Coffee-house,  in  the  Strand; 
'  I  encourage  this  house,'  said  he,  'for  the  mistress  of  it  is  a 
good  civil  woman,  and  has  not  much  business.' "  Another 
entry  is — "We  concluded  the  day  at  the  Turk's  Head 
Coffee-house  very  socially."  And,  August  3,  1673 — "We 
had  our  last  social  meeting  at  the  Turk's  Head  Coffee-house, 
before  my  setting  out  for  foreign  parts." 

The  name  was  afterwards  changed  to  "The  Turk's  Head, 
Canada  and  Bath  Coffee-house,"  and  was  a  well-frequented 
tavern  and  hotel :  it  was  taken  down,  and  a  very  handsome 
lofty  house  erected  upon  the  site,  at  the  cost  of,  we  believe, 
eight  thousand  pounds ;  it  was  opened  as  a  tavern  and 
hotel,  but  did  not  long  continue. 

At  the  Turk's  Head,  or  Miles's  Coffee-house,  New  Palace- 
yard,  Westminster,  the  noted  Rota  Club  met,  founded  by 
Harrington,  in  1659  :  where  was  a  large  oval  table,  with  a 
passage  in  the  middle,  for  Miles  to  deliver  his  coffee.  (See 
pp.  13,  14), 

Squire's  Coffee-house. 

In  Fulwood's  {vulgo  Fuller's)  Rents,  in  Holbom,  nearly 
opposite  Chancery-lane,  in  the  reign  of  James  I.,  lived 
Christopher  Fulwood,  in  a  mansion  of  some  pretension,  of 
which  an  existing  house  of  the  period  is  said  to  be  the 
remams.  "Some  will  have  it,"  says  Hatton,  1708,  "that  it 
is  called  from  being  a  woody  place  before  there  were  buildings 
here;  but  its  being  called  Fullwood's  Rents  (as  it  is  in  deeds 
and  leases),  shows  it  to  be  the  rents  of  one  called  FuUwood, 
the  owner  or  builder  thereof."    Strype  describes  the  Rents, 


3is«  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

or  court,  as  running  up  to  Gra/s-Inn,  "  into  which  it  has  an 
entrance  through  the  gate;  a  place  of  good  resort,  and  taken 
up  by  cofifee-houses,  ale-houses,  and  houses  of  entertainment, 
by  reason  of  its  vicinity  to  Gray's-Inn.  On  the  east  side  is 
a  handsome  open  place,  with  a  handsome  freestone  pave- 
ment, and  better ,  built,  and  inhabited  by  private  house- 
keepers. At  the  upper  end  of  this  court  is  a  passage  into 
the  Castle  Tavern,  a  house  of  considerable  trade,  as  is  the 
Golden  Griffin  Tavern,  on  the  west  side." 

Here  was  John's,  one  of  the  earliest  Coffee-houses ;  and 
adjoining  Gray's-Inn  gate  is  a  deep-coloured  red-brick  house, 
once  Squire's  Coffee-house,  kept  by  Squire,  "  a  noted  man 
in  Fuller's  Rents,"  who  died  in  1717.  The  house  is  veiy 
roomy;  it  has  been  handsome,  and  has  a  wide  staircase. 
Squire's  was  one  of  the  receiving-houses  of  the  Spectator: 
in  No.  269,  January  8,  1711— 1712,  he  accepts  Sir  Roger  de 
Coverley's  invitation  to  "smoke  a  pipe  with  him  over  a  dish 
of  coffee  at  Squire's.  As  I  love  the  old  man,  I  take  delight 
in  complying  with  everything  that  is  agreeable  to  him,  and 
accordingly  waited  on  him  to  the  Coffee-house,  where  his 
venerable  figure  drew  upon  us  the  eyes  of  the  whole  room. 
He  had  no  sooner  seated  himself  at  the  upper  end  of  the 
high  table,  but  he  called  for  a  clean  pipe,  a  paper  of  tobacco,  a 
dish  of  coffee,  a  wax  candle,  and  the  Supplement  [a  periodical 
paper  of  that  time],  with  such  an  air  of  cheerfulness  and 
good  humour,  that  all  the  boys  in  the  coffee-room,  (who 
seemed  to  take  pleasure  in  serving  him,)  were  at  once  em- 
ployed on  his  several  errands,  insomuch  that  nobody  else 
could  come  at  a  dish  of  tea,  until  the  Knight  had  got  all  his 
conveniences  about  him."  Such  was  the  cofifee-room  in  the 
Spectator's  day.     ; 

Gray's-Inn  Walks,  to  which  the  Rents  led,  across  Field- 
court,  were  then,  a  fashionable  promenade;  and  here  Sir 
Roger  could  "  clear  his  pipes  in  good  air ;"  for  scarcely  a 
house  intervened  thence  to  Hampstead.  Though  Ned 
Ward,  in  his  "  London  Spy,"  says — "  I  found-  none  but  a 


SQUIRE'S  COFFEE-HOUSE.  351 

parcel  of  superannuated  debauchees,  huddled  up  in  cloaks, 
frieze  coats,  and  wadded  gowns,  to  protect  their  old  carcases 
from  the  sharpness  of  Hampstead  air;  creeping  up  and 
down  in  pairs  and  leashes  no  faster  than  the  hand  of  a  dial, 
or  a  county  convict  going  to  execution ;  some  talking  of 
law,  some  of  religion,  and  some  of  politics.  After  I  had 
walked  two  or  three  times  round,  I  sat  myself  down  in  the 
upper  walk,  where  just  before  me,  on  a  stone  pedestal,  we 
fixed  an  old  rusty  horizontal  dial,  with  the  gnomon  broke 
short  off."  Round  the  sun-dial,  seats  were  arranged  in  a 
semicircle. 

Gra/s-Inn  Gardens  were  resorted  to  by  dangerous  classes. 
Expert  pickpockets  and  plausible  ring-droppers  found  easy 
prey  there  on  crowded  days ;  and  in  old  plays  the  Gardens 
are  repeatedly  mentioned  as  a  place  of  negotiation  for  clan- 
destine lovers,  which  led  to  the  walks  being  closed,  except 
at  stated  hours. 

Eetuming  to  Fulwood's  Rents,  we  may  here  describe 
another  of  its  attractions,  the  Tavern  and  punch-house, 
within  one  door  of  Gray's-Inn,  apparently  the  King's  Head. 
From  some  time  before  1699,  until  his  death  in  1731,  Ward 
kept  this  house,  which  he  thus  commemorates,  or,  in  another 
word,  puffs,  in  his  "  London  Spy  :"  being  a  vintner  himself, 
we  may  rest  assured  that  he  would  have  penned  this  in 
praise  of  no  other  than  himself : 

To  speak  but  the  truth  of  my  honest  friend  Ned, 
The  best  of  all  vintners  that  ever  God  made  ; 
He's  free  of  the  beef,  and  as  free  of  his  bread, 
And  washes  both  down  with  his  glass  of  rare  red, 
That  tops  all  the  town,  and  commands  a  good  trade  j 
Such  wine  as  will  cheer  up  the  drooping  King's  head. 
And  brisk  up  the  soul,  though  our  body's  half  dead ; 
He  scorns  to  draw  bad,  as  he  hopes  to  be  paid ; 
And  now  his  name's  up,  he  may  e'en  lie  abed  ; 
For  he'll  get  an  estate — there's  no  more  to  be  said. 

We  ought  to  have  remarked,  that  the  ox  was  roasted,  cut 
up.,  and  distributed  gratis ;  a  piece  of  generosity  which,  by  a 


3S2  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

poetic  fiction,  is  supposed   to    have  inspired   the  aboti 
limping  balderdash. 

Slaughter's  Coffee-house. 

This  Coffee-house,  famous  as  the  resort  of  painters  and 
sculptors,  in  the  last  century,  was  situated  at  the  upper  end 
of  the  west  side  of  St.  Martin's-lane,  three  doors  from 
Newport-street.  Its  first  landlord  was  Thomas  Slaughter, 
1692.  Mr.  Cunningham  tells  us  that  a  second  Slaughter's 
(New  Slaughter's),  was  established  in  the  same  street  about 
1760,  when  the  original  establishment  adopted  the  name  of 
"  Old  Slaughter's,"  by  which  designation  it  was  known  till 
within  a  few  years  of  the  final  demolition  of  the  house  to 
make  way  for  the  new  avenue  between  Long-acre  and 
Leicester-square,  formed  1843-44.  For  many  years  pre- 
vious to  the  streets  of  London  being  completely  paved, 
"  Slaughter's  "  was  called  "  The  Coffee-house  on  the  Pave- 
ment." In  like  manner,  "The  Pavement,"  Moorfields, 
received  its  distinctive  name.  Besides  being  the  resort  of 
artists,  Old  Slaughter's  was  the  house  of  call  for  Frenchmen. 

St.  Martin's-lane  was  long  one  of  the  head-quarters  of  the 
artists  of  the  last  century.  "  In  the  time  of  Benjamin  West," 
says  J.  T.  Smith,  "  and  before  the  formation  of  the  Royal 
Academy,  Greek-street,  St.  Martin's-lane,  and  Gerard-street, 
was  their  colony.  Old  Slaughter's  Coffee-house,  in  St. 
Martin's-lane,  was  their  grand  resort  in  the  evenings,  and 
Hogarth  was  a  constant  visitor."  He  lived  at  the  Golden 
Head,  on  the  eastern  side  of  Leicester  Fields,  in  the 
northern  half  of  the  Sabloniere  Hotel.  The  head  he  cut 
out  himself  from  pieces  of  cork,  glued  and  bound  together ; 
it  was  placed  over  the  street-door.  At  this  time,  young 
Benjamin  West  was  living  in  chambers,  in  Bedford-street, 
Covent  Garden,  and  had  there  set  up  his  easel;  he  was 
married,  in  1765,  at  St.  Martin's  Church.  Roubiliac  wv)s 
often  to  be  found  at  Slaughter's  in  early  life;   probably 


SLAUGHTER'S  COFFEE-HOUSE.  353 

before  he  gained  the  patronage  of  Sir  Edward  Walpole, 
through  finding  and  returning  to  the  baronet  the  pocket- 
book  of  bank-notes  which  the  young  maker  of  monuments 
had  picked  up  in  Vauxhall  Gardens.  Sir  Edward,  to 
remunerate  his  integrity,  and  his  skill,  of  which  he  showed 
specimens,  promised  to  patronize  Roubiliac  through  life, 
and  he  faithfully  penormed  this  promise.  Young  Gains- 
borough, who  spent  three  years  amid  the  works  of  the 
painters  in  St  Martin's-lane,  Hayman,  and  Cipriani,  who 
were  all  eminently  convivial,  were,  in  all  probability, 
frequenters  ol  Slaughter's.  Smith  tells  us  that  Quin  and 
Hayman  were  inseparable  friends,  and  so  convivial,  that  they 
seldom  parted  till  daylight 

Mr.  Cunningham  relates  that  here,  "  in  early  life,  Wilkie 
would  enjoy  a  small  dinner  at  a  small  cost  I  have  been 
told  by  an  old  Irequenter  ot  the  house,  that  Wilkie  was 
always  the  last  dropper-in  for  a  dinner,  and  that  he  was 
never  seen  to  dine  in  the  house  by  daylight  The  truth  is, 
he  slaved  at  his  art  at  home  till  the  last  glimpse  of  daylight 
had  disappeared." 

Haydon  was  accustoined,  in  the  early  days  of  his  fitful 
career,  to  dine  here  with  Wilkie.  In  his  "  Autobiography," 
in  the  year  1808,  Haydon  writes :  "  This  period  of  our  lives 
was  one  of  great  happiness :  painting  all  day,  then  dining  at 
the  Old  Slaughter  Chop-house,  then  going  to  the  Academy 
until  eight,  to  fill  up  the  evening,  then  going  home  to  tea — 
that  blessing  of  a  studious  man — talking  over  our  respective 
exploits,  what  he  [Wilkie]  had  been  doing,  and  what  I  had 
done,  and  then,  frequently  to  relieve  our  minds  fatigued  by 
their  eight  and  twelve  hours'  work,  giving  vent  to  the  most 
extraordinary  absurdities.  Often  have  we  made  rhymes  on 
odd  names,  and  shouted  with  laughter  at  each  new  line  that 
was  added.  Sometimes  lazily  inclined  after  a  good  dinner, 
we  have  lounged  about,  near  Drury  Lane  or  Covent  Garden, 
hesitatmg  whether  to  go  in,  and  often  have  I  (knowing  first 
that  there  was  nothing  I  wished  to  see)  assumed  a  virtue  I 

A  A 


354  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON.  .      . 

did  n6t  possess,  and  pretending  moral  siiperiority,  preached  ' 
to  Wilkie   on  the  weakness  of  not  resisting  .such  tempta- 
tions for  the  sake   of  our  art  and  our  duty,  and  marched 
him  off  to  his  studies,  when  he  was  longing  to  see  Mother 
Goose."  ' 

1.  T.  Smith  has  narrated  some  fifteen  pages  of  character- 
istic aiiecdbtes  of  the  artistic  visitors  of  Old  Slaughter's, 
which  he  refers  to  as  "formerly  the  rendezvous  of  Pope, 
Dryden,  and  other  wits,  and  much  frequented'  by  seveikl 
eminently  clever  men  of  his  day." 

Thither  came  Ware,  the  architect,  who,  when  a  little 
sickly  boy,  was  apprenticed  to  a  chimney-sweeper,  and  was 
seen  chalking  the  street-front  of  Whitehall,  by  a  gentleman, 
who  purchased  the  remainder  of  the  boy's  time;  gave,  him 
ah  excellent  education ;  then  sent  him  to  Italy,  and,  upon 
his  return,  employed  him,  and  introduced  him  to  his  friends  = 
as  an  architect.  Ware  was  "heai'd  to  tell  this  stbry  while  he 
v/as  sitting-  to  Roubiliac  for  his  bust.  Ware  built  Chester- 
field House  and  several  other  noble  mansions,  and  compiled 
a  Palladio,  in  folio. :  he  retained  the  soot  in  his  skin  to  the 
day  of  his  death.  He  was  very  intimate  with  Roubiliac, 
who  was  an  opposite  eastern  neighbour  of  Old  Slaughter's. 
Another  architect,  Gwynn,  who  competed  with  Mylne  for 
designing  and  building  Blackfriars  Bridge;-  was  also  a 
frequent  visitor  at  Old  Slaughter's,  as  was  Gravelot,  who 
kept  a  drawing-school  in  the  Strand,  nearly  opposite  to 
Southampton-street. 

Hudson,  who  painted  the  Dilettanti  portraits ;  M'Ardell, 
the  mezzotinto-scraper ;  and  Luke  Sullivan,  the  engraver  of 
Hogarth's  March  to  Finchley,  also  frequented  Old  Slaugh- 
ter's ;  likewise  Theodore  Gardell,  the  portrait  painter,  who 
was  executed  for  the  murder  of  his  landlady ;  and  Old 
Moser,  keeper  of  the  Drawing  Academy  in  Peter's-court. 
Richard  Wilson,  the  landscape  painter,  was  not  a  regular 
customer  here  :  his  favourite  house  was  the  Constitution, 
Bedford-street,  Covent  Garden,  where  he  could  indulge  in  a 


SLAUGHTERS  COFFEE-HOUSE.  355 

pot  of  porter  more  freely,  and  enjoy  the  fun  of  JMottimer,, 
the  painter. 

Parry,  the  Welsh  harper,  though  totally  blind,  was  one  of 
the  first  draught-players  in  England,  and  occasionally  played 
wth  the  frequenters  of  Old  Slaughter's;  and  here, 'in conse- 
quence of  a  bet,  Roubiliac  introduced  Nathaniel  Smith 
(father  of  John  Thomas),  to  play  at  draughts  with  Parry ; 
the  game  lasted  about  half  an  hour :  Parry,  was  much 
agitated,  and  Smith  proposed  to  give  in  ;  but  as  there  were 
bets  depending,  it  was  played  out,  and  -Smith  won.  This 
victory  brought  Smith  numerous  challenges ;  and -the  d6ns 
of  the  Bam,  a  public-house,  in  St.  Martin's-lane,  nearly 
opposite  the  church,  invited  him  to  become  a  member :  but 
Smith  declined.  ■  The  Barn,  for  many  years,  was  frequented 
by  all  the  noted  players  of  chess  and  draughts  j  and  it  was 
there  that  they  often  decided  games  of  the  first  importance, 
played  between  persons  of  the  highest  rank,  living  in 
diflferent  parts  of  the  world. 

T.  Rawle,*  the  inseparable  companion  of  Captain  Grose, 
the  antiquary,  came  often  to  Slaughter's. 

It  was  long  asserted  of  Slaughter's  Coffee-house  that  there 
never  had  been  a  person  of  that  name  as  master  of  the 
house,  but  chat  it  was  named  from  its  having  been  opened 
for  the  use  of  the  men  who  slaughtered  the  cattle  for  the 
butchers  of  Newport  Market,  in  an  open  space  then  adjoin- 


*  Rawle  was  one  of  his  Majesty's  accoutrement  makers  ;  and  after 
his  death,  his  effects  were  'sold  by  Hutchins,  in  King-street,  Covent 
Garden.  Among  the  lots  were  a  helmet,  a  sword,  and  several  letters, 
of  Oliver  Cromwell ;  also  the  doublet  in  which  Cromwell  dissolved  the 
Long  Parliament.  Another  singular  lot  was  a  large  black  wig,  with 
long  flowing  curls,  stated  to  have  been  worn  by  King  Charles  11.  ;  it 
was  bought  by  Suett,  the  actor,  who  was  a  great  collector  of  wigs.  He 
continued  to  act  in  this  wig  for  many  years,  in  Tom.  Thumb,  and  other 
pieces,  tiU  it  was  burnt  when  the  theatre  at  Birmingham  was  destroyed 
by  fire.  Next  morning,  Suett,  meeting  Mrs.  Booth,  the  mother  of  the 
lively  actress  S.  feooth,  exclaimed,  "Mrs.  Booth,  my  wig's  gone  1" 

A  A   2 


3SS  CLVB  LIFE  OF  LONDON, 

ing.  "This,"  says  J.  T.  Smith,  "may  be  the  fact,  if  we 
believe  that  coffee  was  taken  as  refreshment  by  slaughtermen, 
instead  of  purl  or  porter ;  or  that  it  was  so  called  by  the 
neighbouring  butchers  in  derision  of  the  numerous  and 
fashionable  Coffee-houses  of  the  day ;  as,  for  instance, '  The 
Old  Man's  Coffee-house,'  and  'The  Young  Man's  Coffee- 
house.' Be  that  as  it  may,  in  my  father's  time,  and  also 
within  memory  of  the  most  aged  people,  this  Coffee-house 
was  called  '  Old  Slaughter's,'  and  not  The  Slaughter,  or  The 
Slaughterer's  Coffee-house." 

In  1827,  there  was  sold  by  Stewart,  Wheatley,  and 
Adlard,  in  Piccadilly,  a  picture  attributed  to  Hogarth,  for 
150  guineas;  it  was  described  A  Conversation  over  a  Bowl 
of  Punch,  at  Old  Slaughter's  Coffee-house,  in  St.  Martin's- 
lane,  and  the  figures  were  said  to  be  portraits  of  the  painter, 
Dr.  Monsey,  and  the  landlord,  Old  Slaughter.  But  this 
picture,  as  J.  T.  Smith  shows,  was  painted  by  Highmore, 
for  his  father's  godfather,  Nathaniel  Oldham,  and  one  of  the 
artist's  patrons;  "it  is  neither  a  scene  at  Old  Slaughter's 
nor  are  the  portraits  rightly  described  in  the  sale  catalogue, 
but  a  scene  at  Oldham's  house,  at  Ealing,  with  an  old 
schoolmaster,  a  farmer,  the  artist  Highmore,  and  Oldham 
himself." 

Will's  and  Series  Coffee-houses. 

At  the  corner  of  Serle-street  and  Portugal-street,  most 
invitingly  facing  the  passage  to  Lincoln's  Inn  New-square, 
was  Will's,  of  old  repute,  and  thus  described  in  the  "  Epi- 
cure's Almanack,"  1815  :  "This  is,  indubitably,  a  house  of 
the  first  class,  which  dresses  very  desirable  turtle  and 
venison,  and  broaches  many  a  pipe  of  mature  port,  double 
voyaged  Madeira,  and  princely  claret ;  wherewithal  to  wash 
down  the  dust  of  making  law-books,  and  take  out  the  inky 
blots  from  rotten  parchment  bonds ;  or  if  we  must  quote 
and  parodize  Will's  '  hath  a  sweet  oblivious  antidote  which 


THE  GRECIAN  COFFEE-HOUSE.  357 

clears  the  cranium  of  that  perilous  stuff  that  clouds  the 
cerebellum.'"  The  Coffee-house  has  some  time  been 
given  up. 

Serle's  Coffee-house  is  one  of  those  mentioned  in  No.  49 
of  the  Spectator :  "  I  do  not  know  that  I  meet  in  any  of  my 
walks,  objects  which  move  both  my  spleen  and  laughter  so 
effectually  as  those  young  fellows  at  the  Grecian,  Squire's, 
Serle's,  and  all  other  Coffee-houses  adjacent  to  the  Law, 
who  rise  for  no  other  purpose. but  to  publish  their  laziness." 

The  Grecian  Coffee-house, 

Devereux-court,  Strand,  (closed  in  1843,)  was  named  from 
Constantine,  of  Threadneedle  street,  the  Grecian  who  kept 
it.  In  the  Tatkr  announcement,  all  accounts  of  learning 
are  to  be  "  under  the  title  of  the  Grecian ;"  and,  in  the 
Toiler,  No.  6  :  "  While  other  parts  of  the  town  are  amused 
with  the  present  actions,  [Marlborough's,]  we  generally  spend 
the  evening  at  this  table  [at  the  Grecian],  in  inquiries  into 
antiquity,  and  think  anything  new,  which  gives  us  new  know- 
ledge. Thus,  we  are  making  a  very  pleasant  entertainment 
to  ourselves  in  putting  the  actions  of  Homer's  Iliad  into  an 
exact  journal." 

The  Spectatoi's  face  was  very  well  known  at  the  Grecian, 
a  Coffee-house  "  adjacent  to  the  law."  Occasionally  it  was 
the  scene  of  learned  discussion.  Thus  Dr.  King  relates 
that  one  evening,  two  gentlemen,  who  were  constant  com- 
panions, were  disputing  here,  concerning  the  accent  of  a 
Greek  word.  This  dispute  was  carried  to  such  a  length,  that 
the  two  friends  thought  proper  to  determine  it  with  their 
swords  :  for  this  purpose  they  stepped  into  Devereux-court, 
where  one  of  them  (Dr.  King  thinks  his  name  was  Fitz- 
gerald) was  run  through  the  body,  and  died  on  the  spot. 

The  Grecian  was  Foote's  morning  lounge.  It  was  handy, 
too,  for  the  young  Templar,  Goldsmith,  and  often  did  it 
echo  with  Oliver's  boisterous  mirth ;   for  "  it  had  become 


3SS  CLUB  ni'E  OF  LONDON. 

the  favourite^  resort  of  the  Irish  and  Lancashire  Templais, 
whom  he  -delighted  in  collecting  aroundlhim,  in  ehtertaia- 
ing  with  a  cordial  and  unostentatious  hospitality,  and/ in 
occasionally  aniasing  with: his. flute,  or  with  whist,  neither  oi 
which  he  played  very  well !"  Here  Goldsmith  occasionally 
■wound  up  his  "  Shoemaker's  Holiday  "  with. supper.      .  ;,,  , 

It  was  at  the  Grecian  that  Fleetwood-Shephard  told  this 
memorable  story  to  Dr.  Tancred  Robinson,  who  gave 
Richardson  permission  to  repeat  it.  "  The  Earl  of  Dorset 
was  in  Little  Britain,  beating  about  for  books  to  his  taste ; 
there  was  '  Paradise.  Lost.'  He  was  surprised  with  some 
passages  he  struck  upon,  dipping  here  and  there  and  bought 
if ;  the  bookseller  begged  him  to  speak  in  its  favour,  if  he 
liked  it,  for  they  lay  on  his  handsas  waste  paper.  Jesus  ! — 
Shephard  was  present.  My  Lord  took  it  home,  read  it,  and 
sent  it  to  Dryden,  who  in.a  short  time  returned  it.  '.'This 
man,'  says  Dryden,  '  cuts  us  all  out,  and  the  ancieiits  too  !'" 

The  Grecian  Was  also  frequented  by  Fellows  of  tlie 
Royal  Society.  Thoresby,  in  his  "  Diary,"  tells  us,  22nd 
May,  1712,  that  *' having  bought  each  a. pair  of  black  silk 
stockings  in  Westminster  Hall,  they  returned  by  water,  and 
then  walked,  to  meefhis  friend,  Dr.  Sloane,  the  Secretary  of 
the  Royal  Society,  at  the  Grecian  Coffee-house,  by  the 
Temple."  And,  on  June  lath,  same  year,  "Thoresby 
attended  the  Royal  Society,  where  were  present,  the  Presi- 
dent, Sir  Isaac  Newton,  both  the  Secretaries,  the  two. 
Professors  fromOxford,  Dr.  Halley  and;  Kell,  with  others,, 
whose  compafty  we  after  enjoyed  at  the  Grecian  Coffee- 
house." '■'  •  ■■  ■■■  ;..-..,    -■ 

In  Devereux-court,  also,  was  Tom's  Coffee-house,  much 
resorted  to  by  men  of  letters ;  among  whom; were-  Dr.  Birch, 
who  wrote  the  History  of  the  Royal  Society  ^  alsoAkenside, 
the  poet ;  and^tliere  is  in  print  a  letter  of  Pope's,  addressed 
to  Fortescu'd,  his,  "counsel  learned  in  the  law,"  at  this 
Goifee-house.  -  • 


359 


George's  Coffee-house, 

No.  213,  Strand,  near  Temple  Bar,  was  a  noted  resort  in  the 
last  and  present  century. .  When  it  was  a  coifee-house,  one 
day,  there  came  in  Sir  James  Lowther,  who  after  changing 
a  piece  of  silver  with  the  coffee-woman,  and  paying  two- 
pence for  his  dish  of  coffee,  was'helped  into  his  chariot,  for 
he  was  very  lame  and  iniirm,  and  went  home  :  some  little 
time  afterwards,  he  returned  to  the  same  coffee-house,  on 
purpose  to  acquaint  the  woman  who  kept  it,  that  she  had 
giyen  him  a  bad  half-penny,  and  demanded  anofher  in 
exchange  for  it.  Sir  James  had  about  40,000/.  per  annum, 
and  was  at  a  loss  whom  to  appoint  his  heir. 
Shenstone,  who  found        ■ 

THe  warmest  welcome  at  an  inn, 

found  George's  to^  be  economical.,  "  What  do  you  think," 
he  writes,  "  must  be  my  expense,  who  love  to  pry  intoevery- 
thingpf  the  kind?  Why,  truly  one  shilling.  My  company 
goes  to  George's  Coffee-house,  where,  for  that  small  sub- 
scription .  L  read  all  pamphlets  under  a  three  shillings' 
dimension;  and  indeed,  any  larger  would  not  be  fit  for 
coffee-house  perusal."  Shenstone  relates  that  Lord  Orford 
was  at  George's,  when  the  mob,  that  were  carrying  his 
Lpr4§hip  in  effigy,  came  into  the  box,  where  he  was,  tp  beg 
money-  of  him,  amongst  others  :  this  story  Horace  Walpole 
contradict^, ;  adding ,  that  he  supposes  SJienstpne;  thought 
that  after  Lord  Orford  quitted  his  place,  he  went  to  the 
co.ffeerhouse  to  learn  news. 

Arthur  Murphy  frequented  George's,  "  where  the  town 
wits  met  every  evening."     Lloyd,  the  law-student,  sings  : — 

By  law  let  others  toil  to  gain  renown ! 
I'^orio's  a  gentleman,  a  man  o'  the  town. 
He  nor  courts  clients,  or  the  law  regarding, 
Hurries  from  Nando's  down  to  Covent  Garden, 


36o  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

Yet,  he's  a  scholar ;  mark  him  in  the  pit, 
With  critic  catcall  sound  the  stops  of  wit  ! 
Supreme  at  George's,  he  harangues  the  throng. 
Censor  of  style,  from  tragedy  to  song. 

The  Percy  Coffee-house, 

Rathbone-place,  Oxford-street,  no  longer  exists ;  but  it  will 
be  kept  in  recollection  for  its  having  given  name  to  one  of 
the  most  popular  publications,  of  its  class  in  our  time, 
namely,  the  "  Percy  Anecdotes,  "  by  Sholto  and  Reuben 
Percy,  Brothers  of  the  Benedictine  Monastery  of  Mont 
Benger,"  in  44  parts,  commencing  in  1820.  So  said  the 
title  pages,  but  the  names  and  the  locality  were  suppos'e. 
Reuben  Percy  was  Thomas  Byerley,  who  died  in  1824;  he 
was  the  brother  of  Sir  John  Byerley,  and  the  first  editor  of 
the  Mirror,  commenced  by  John  Limbird,  in  1822.  Sholto 
Percy  was  Joseph  Clinton  Robertson,  who  died  in  1852 ; 
he  was  the  projector  of  the  Mechanics^  Magazine,  which  he 
edited  from  its  commencement  to  his  death.  The  name  of 
the  collection  of  Anecdotes  was  not  taken,  as  at  the  time 
supposed,  from  the  popularity  of  the  "  Percy  Reliques,"  but 
from  the  Percy  Coffee-house,  where  Byerley  and  Robertson 
were  accustomed  to  meet  to  talk  over  their  joint  work.  The 
idea  was,  however,  claimed  by  Sir  Richard  Phillips,  who 
stoutly  maintained  that  it  originated  in  a  suggestion  made 
by  him  to  Dr.  Tilloch  and  Mr.  Mayne,  to  cut  the  anecdotes 
from  the  many  years'  files  of  the  Siar  newspaper,  of  which 
Dr.  Tilloch  was  the  editor,  and  Mr.  Byerley  assistant 
editor ;  and  to  the  latter  overhearing  the  suggestion,  Sir 
Richard  contested,  might  the  "  Percy  Anecdotes  "  be  traced. 
They  were  very  successful,  and  a  large  sum  was  realised  by 
the  work. 


36i 


Peele's  Coffee-house, 

Nos.  177  and  178,  Fleet-street,  east  comer  of  Fetter-lane, 
was  one  of  the  Coffee-houses  of  tlie  Johnsonian  period ; 
and  here  was  long  preserved  a  portrait  of  Dr.  Johnson,  on 
the  key-stone  of  a  chimney-piece,  stated  to  have  been  painted 
by  Sir  Joshua  Reynolds.  Peele's  Avas  noted  for  files  of  news- 
papers from  these  dates:  Gazette,  ij^^;  Titnes,  1780; 
Morning  Chronicle,  1773;  Morning  Post,  1773;  Morning 
Herald,  1784;  Morning  Advertiser,  1794;  and  the  evening 
papers  from  their  commencement.  The  house  is  now  a 
tavern. 


362 


The  Taverns  of  Old  London. 

The  changes  in  the  manners  and  customs  of  our  metropolis 
may  be  agreea,bly  gathered  from  such.  gHmpses  as  we  gain  of 
the  history  of  "  houses  of  entertainment "  in  the  long  lapse 
of  centuries.  ,  Their  records  present  innumerable,  pictures  in 
little  of  society  and  modes,  the  interest  of  which  is  increased 
by  distance.  They  show  us  how  the  tavern  was  the  great 
focus  of  news  long  before  the  newspaper  fully  supplied  the 
intellectual  want.  Much  of  the  business  of  early  times  was 
transacted  in  taverns,  and  it  is  to  some  extent  in  the  present 
day.  According  to  the  age,  the  tavern  reflects  the  manners, 
the  social  tastes,  customs,  and  recreations  j  and  there,  in 
days  when  travelling  was  difficult  and  costly,  and  not  unat- 
tended with  danger,  the  traveller  told  his  wondrous  tale  to 
many  an  eager  listenerj  and  the  man  who  rarely  strayed 
beyond  his  own  parish,  was  thus  made  acquainted  with  the 
life  of  the  world.  Then,  the  old  tavern  combined,  with 
much  of  the  comfort  of  an  English  home,  its  luxuries,  with 
out  the  forethought  of  providiiig  either.  Its  come-and-go 
life  presented  many  a  useful  lesson  to  the  man  who  looked 
beyond  the  cheer  of  the  moment.  The  master,  or  taverner, 
was  mostly  a  person  of  substance,  often  of  ready  wit  and 
cheerful  manners — to  render  his  public  home  attractive. 

The  "  win-hous,"  or  tavern,  is  enumerated  among  the 
houses  of  entertainment  in  the  time  of  die  Saxons  ;  and  no 
doubt  existed  in  England  much  earlier.  The  peg-tankard, 
a  specimen  of  which  we  see  in  the  Ashmolean  Collection  at 
Oxford,  originated  with  the  Saxons  j  the  pegs  inside  denoted 
how  deep  each  guest  was  to  drink :  hence  arose  the  saying, 


TA  VEENS  OF  OLD  LONDON.  363 

"lie  is  a  peg  too  low,"  when  a  man  was  out  of- spirits. 
-The.  Danes -were  even  more  .ctfnvivial , in  their  hatoits  than  the 
Saxons,  and  may  be  presumed  to  have  multiplied  the  number 
of  "  guest  houses,"  as  the  early  taverns  Avere  callted.  The 
Norman  followers  of  the  Conqueror  soon  fell  into  the  good 
cheer  of  their  predecessors  in  England.  Although.wine  was 
made  at  this  period  in  great  abundance  from  vineyards  in 
various  parts  of  England,  the  trade  of  the  taverns  was  prin- 
cipally supplied  from  France.  The-  traffic  for  Bordeaux  and 
the  neighbouring  provinces  is  said  to  have  comnjenced  about 
1154,  through  the  marriage  of  Henry  II,  with  Eleanor  of  Aqui- 
taine.  The  Normans  were  great  carriers,  and  Guienne  the 
place  whence  most  of  our  wines  were  brdUght  j'  and  which  are 
described  in  this  reign, to;haye  been  sold -in  the  ships;  and 
in  the  wine-cellars  near  the  f>ubldc  place  of  cookery,  onj  the 
banks  of  the  Thames.  We  are  now  speaking  of  the.  .customs 
of  seven  centuries  since ;  of  which  the  public  wine-cellar, 
known  to  our  time  as  the  Shades,  adjoining  old  London 
Bridge,  was  unquestionably  a  relic. 

The  earliest  dealers  in  wines  were  "of  two  descriptions  : 
the  vintners,  or  importers  5  and  the  taverners,  who  kept 
taverns  for  them,  and  sold  the  wine  by  retail  to  such_.as 
came  to  the  tavern  to  drink  it,:  or  fetched  it  to  their  own 
hoitiesi  ,i 

In  a  document  of  the  reign  of  Edward  II.,  we  find,  men- 
tioned a  tenement  called.  Pin  TaVern,  situated  in  the  Vintry, 
where  the  Bordeaux  merchants  craned  their  wines  out  of 
lighters,  and  other  vessels  on, _the,  Thames  ;  and  here  wa$ 
the  famous  old  tavern  with  the  sign  of  the  Three  Cranes. 
Chaucer  makes  the  apprentice  of  this  period  loving  better 
the  tavern  than  the  shop: —  

■  A  prentis  whilom  dwelt  in  our  citee,'— 1    . 
At  ev'ry  bridale- would  he  siflg-aad  hoppe  ; 

.  He  loved  bet'  the  tavern  than  the  slioppe,- 
For  when  ther  any  riding  was  in  Chepe, 
Out  of  the  shoppe  thider  woiild  he  lepe  ; 
And  til  that  he  had  all  the  sight  ysein  -  -     -.    , 

And  dancid  wil,  he  wold  not  com  agen. 


364  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDOiV. 

Thus,  the  idle  City  apprentice  was  a  great  tavern  haunter, 
which  was  forbidden  in  his  indenture ;  and  to  this  day,  the  ap- 
prentice's indenture  enacts  that  he  shall  not  "haunt  taverns." 

In  a  play  of  1608,  the  apprentices  of  old  Hobson,  a  rich 
citizen,  in  1560,  frequent  the  Rose  and  Crown,  in  the 
Poultry,  and  the  Dagger,  in  Cheapside. 

Enter  Hobson,  Two  Prentices,  and  a  Bov. 

1  Pren.  Prithee,  fello.v  Goodman,  set  forth  the  ware,  and  looke  to 
the  shop  a  little.  I'll  but  drink  a  cup  of  wine  with  a  customer,  at  the 
Rose  and  Crown  in  the  Poultry,  and  come  again  presently. 

2  Pren.  I  must  needs  step  to  the  Dagger  in  Cheafic,  to  send  a  letter 
into  the  country  unto  my  father.  Stay,  boy,  you  are  the  youngest 
prentice  ;  loolc  you  to  the  shop. 

In  the  reign  of  Richard  II.,  it  was  ordained  by  statute 
that  "  the  wines  of  Gascoine,  of  Osey,  and  of  Spain,"  as  well 
as  Rhenish  wines,  should  not  be  sold  above  sixpence  the 
gallon ;  and  the  taverners  of  this  period  frequently  became 
very  rich,  and  filled  the  highest  civic  offices,  as  sheriffs  and 
mayors.  The  fraternity  of  vintners  and  taverners,  anciently 
the  Merchant  Wine  Tonners  of  Gascoyne,  became  the  Craft 
of  Vintners,  incorporated  by  Henry  VI.  as  the  Vintners' 
Company. 

The  curious  old  ballad  of  "  London  Lyckpenny,"  written 
in  the  reign  of  Henry  V.,  by  Lydgate,  a  monk  of  Bury, 
confirms  the  statement  of  the  prices  in  the  reign  of  Richard 
II.  He  comes  to  Cornhill,  when  the  wine-drawer  of  the 
Pope's  Head  tavern,  standing  without  the  street-door,  it 
being  the  custom  of  drawers  thus  to  waylay  passengers, 
takes  the  man  by  the  hand,  and  says, — "Will  you  drink  a 
pint  of  wine?"  whereunto  the  countryman  answers,  "A 
penny  spend  I  may,"  and  so  drank  his  wine.  "  For  bread 
nothing  did  he  pay" — ^for  that  was  given  in.  This  is 
Stow's  account:  the  ballad  makes  the  tavemer,  not  the 
drawer,  invite  the  countryman  j  and  the  latter,  instead  of 
getting  bread  for  nothing,  complains  of  having  to  go  away 
hungry ; — 


TA  VERNS  OF  OLD  LONDON.  365 

The  taverner  took  me  by  the  sleeve, 
•  "  Sir,"  saith  he,  "  will  you  our  wine  assay  ?" 

I  answered,  "  That  cannot  much  me  grieve, 
A  penny  can  do  no  more  than  it  may ;" 
I  drank  a  pint,  and  for  it  did  pay  ; 
Yet,  sore  a-hungered  from  thence  I  yede, 
And,  wanting  money,  I  could  not  speed,  etc. 

There  was  no  eating  at  taverns  at  this  time,  beyond  a 
crust  to  relish  the  wine ;  and  he  who  wished  to  dine  before 
he  drank,  had  to  go  to  the  cook's. 

The  furnishing  of  the  Boar's  Head,  in  Eastcheap,  with 
sack,  in  Henry  IV.,  is  an  anachronism  of  Shakspeare's ;  for 
the  vintners  kept  neither  sacks,  muscadels,  malmseys, 
bastards,  alicants,  nor  any  other  wines  but  white  and  claret, 
until  1543.  All  the  other  sweet  wines  before  that  time 
were  sold  at  the  apothecaries'  shops  for  no  other  use  but  foi 
medicine. 

Taking  it  as  the  picture  of  a  tavern  a  century  later,  we 
see  the  alterations  which  had  taken  place.  The  single 
drawer  or  taverner  of  Lydgate's  day  is  now  changed  to  a 
troop  of  waiters,  besides  the  under  skinker,  or  tapster. 
Eating  was  no  longer  confined  to  the  cook's  row,  for  we 
find  in  FalstaflPs  bill  "  a  capon,  2s.  2d. ;  sack,  two  gallons, 
5^.  SrtT. ;  anchovies  and  sack,  after  supper,  2s.  bd. ;  bread, 
one  halfpenny."  And  there  were  evidently  different  rooms* 
for  the  guests,  as  Francisf  bids  a  brother  waiter  "Look 


*  This  negatives  a  belief  common  in  our  day  that  a  Covent  Garden 
tavern  was  the  first  divided  into  rooms  for  guests. 

+  A  successor  of  Francis,  a  waiter  at  the  Boar's  Head,  in  the  last 
century,  had  a  tablet  with  an  inscription  in  St.  Michael's,  Crooked-lane 
churchyard,  just  at  the  back  of  the  tavern  ;  setting  forth  that  he  died, 
"drawer  at  the  Boar's  Head  Tavern,  in  Great  Eastcheap,"  and  was 
noted  for  his  honesty  and  sobriety  ;  in  that — 

Tho'  nurs'd  among' full  hogsheads  he  defied 
The  charms  of  wine,  as  well  as  others'  pride. 

He  also  practised  the  singular  virtue  of  drawing  good  wine  and  of 


366  CLUB-  LIFE  OF  ZONDON. 

down  in  the  Pomgranite ;"  fof  which  purpose  they  had 
windows,  or  loopholes,  affording  a  view  from  the  upper  to 
the  lower  apartments.  The  custom  of  naming  the  principal 
rooms  in  taverns  and  hotels  is  usual  to  the  present  day. 

Taverns  and  wine-bibbing  had  greatly  increased  in  the 
reign  of  Edward  VI.,  when  it  was  enacted  by  statute  that 
no  more  than  %d.  a  gallon  should  be  taken  for  any  French 
wines,;  and  the  consumption  limited  in  private  houses  to  ten 
gallons  each  person  yearly ;  that  there  should  not  be  "  aiiy 
more  or  great  number  of  .taverns  in  London  of  such 
tavernes  or  wine  sellers  by  retaile,  above  the  number  of 
fouretye  tavernes  or  wyne  sellers,"  being  less  than  two, 
■upon  an  average,  to  each  parish.  Nor  did  this  number, 
much  increase  afterwards;  for  in  a  return  made^to  the 
Vintners'  Company,  late  in  Elizabeth's  reign,  there  were 
only  one  hundred  and  six'ty-eight  taverns  in  the  whole  city 
and  suburbs.  .  , 

It  seems  to  have  been  the  fashion  among  old  ballad- 
mongers,  street  chroniclers,  and  journalists,  to  sing  the 
praises  of  the  taverns,  in  rough-shod  verse,  and  that  lively 
rhyme  whiqh,  in  our  day,  is  termed  "  patter."  Here  are  a 
few  specimens,  of  various  periods. 

In  a  black-letter  poem  of  Queen  Elizabeth's  reign,  entitled 
"Newes  from  Bartholomew  Fayre,"  there  is  this  curious 
enumeration : 

There  hath  been  great  sale  and  utterance  of  Wine, 

Besides  Beere,  and  Ale,  aiid  Ipocras  fine, 

In  every  country,  region,  and  nation, 

But  chiefly  in  Billingsgate,  at  the  Salutation  ; 

And  the  Boris  Head,  near  London  Stone  ; 

The  Swan  at  Dowgate,  a  tavern  well  knowne  ; 

The  Mitel-  in  Cheape,  and  then  the  Bull  Head ; 

And  many  like  places;  that  make  noses  red  ; 


talcing  care  to   "fill  his  pots,"  as  appears  by  the  closing  lines  of  the 

inscription: —    .. 

Ye  that  ori  Bacchus  have  a  like  dependance, 
Pray  copy  Bob  iii  measure  and  attendance. 


TA  VERWS  OF  OLD  ZVNnON.  367 

The  Bore's  Head  in  Old  Fish-street ;  Three  Cranes  in  the  Vintry  ; 

And  now,  of  late,  St.  Martins  in  the  Sentree ; 

The  Windmill  in  Lothbury ;  thsShip  at  th'  Exchange  ; 

King's  Head  in  New  Fish-street,  where  roysterers  do  range ; 

The  Mermaid  in  Cor-nhill ;  Red  Lion  in  the  Strand  ; 

Three  Tuns  in  Newgate  Market ;  Old  Fish-street  at  the  Swan. 

This  enumeration  omits  ■  the  Mourning  Bush,  adjoining 
Aldersgate,  containing  divers  large  rooms  and  lodgings,  and 
shown  in  Aggas's  plan  of  London,  in  1560.  There  are  also 
-omitted  The  Pope's  Head,The  London  Stone,  The  Dagger, 
The  Rose  and  Crown,  ,etc.  ,  Several  of  the  above  Signs  have 
been  continued  to  our  time  in  the  very  places  mentioned ; 
but  nearly  all  the  original  buildings  were  destroyed  in  the 
Oreat  Fire  of  1666 ;  and  the  few  which  escaped  have  been 
rebuilt,  or  so  altered,  that  their  former  appearance  has 
altogether  vanished. 

The  following  list  of  taverns  is  given  by  Thomas  Hey- 
-wood,  the  author  of  the  fine  old  play  of  A  Woman  killed 
iwith  Kindness.  Heywood,  who  wrote  in  1608,  is  telling  us 
what  particular  houses  are  frequented  by  particular  classes 
of  people : — 

The  Gentry  to  the  King's  Head, 

The  nobles  to  the  Crown, 

The  Knights  unto  the  Golden  Fleece, 

And  to  the  Plough  the  Clown. 

The  churchman  to  the  Mitre, 

The  shepherd  to  the  Star, 

The  gardener  hies  him  to  the  Rose, 

To  the  Drum  the  man  of  war  ; 

To  the  Feathers,  ladies  youj  the  Globe 

The  seaman  doth  not  scorn  ; 

The  usurer  to  the  Devil,  and 

The  townsman  to  the  Horn. 

The  huntsman  to  the  White  Hart, 

To  the  Ship  the  merchants  go, 

But  you  who  do  the  Muses  love. 

The  sign  called  River  Po. 

The  banquerout  to  the  World's  End, 

The  fool  to  the  Fortune  Pie, 


368  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

Unto  the  Month  the  oyster-wife, 

The  fiddler  to  the  Pie, 

The  punk  unto  the  Cockatrice, 

The  drunkard  to  the  Vine, 

The  beggar  to  the  Bush,  then  meet. 

And  with  Duke  Humphrey  dine. 

In  the  "British  Apollo"  of  1710,  is  the  following  dog- 
grel  :— 

I'm  amused  at  the  signs. 

As  I  pass  through  the  town. 
To  see  the  odd  mixture— 

A  Magpie  and  Crown, 
The  Whale  and  the  Crow, 

The  Razor  and  the  Hen, 
The  Leg  and  Seven  Stars, 
The  Axe  and  the  Bottle, 

The  Tun  and  the  Lut^ 
The  Eagle  and  Child, 

The  Shovel  and  Boot. 

In  "  Look  about  You,"  1600,  we  read  that  "  the  drawers 
kept  sugar  folded  up  in  paper,  ready  for  those  who  called 
for  sack/"  and  we  further  find  in  another  old  tract,  that  the 
custom  existed  of  bringing  two  cups  of  silva-  in  case  the 
wine  should  be  wanted  diluted;  and  this  was  done  by 
rose-water  and  sugar,  generally  about  a  pennyworth.  A 
sharper  in  the  Bell/nan  of  London,  described  as  having 
decoyed  a  countryman  to  a  tavern,  "  calls  for  two  pintes  of 
sundry  wines,  the  drawer  setting  the  wine  with  two  cups,  as 
the  custome  is,  the  sharper  tastes  of  one  pinte,  no  matter 
which,  and  finds  fault  with  the  wine,  saying  '  'tis  too  hard, 
but  rose-water  and  sugar  would  send  it  downe  merrily' — and 
for  that  purpose  takes  up  one  of  the  cups,  telling  the 
stranger  he  is  well  acquainted  with  the  boy  at  the  barre, 
and  can  have  two-pennyworth  of  rose-water  for  a  penny  of 
him  :  and  so  steps  from  his  seate  :  the  stranger  suspects  no 
harme,  because  the  fawne  guest  leaves  his  cloake  at  the  end 
of  the  table  behind  him, — ^but  the  other  takes  good  care 
not  to  return,  and  it  is  then  found  that  he  hath  stolen 


The  Tabard  Inn. 
(From  Urry's  Chaucer.) 


The  Tabard  Inn  in  1780. 


TA  VERNS  OF  OLD  L  ONDON.  369 

ground,  and  out-leaped  the  stranger  more  feet  than  he  can 
recover  in  haste,  for  the  cup  is  leaped  with  him,  for  which 
the  wood-cock,  that  is  taken  in  the  springe,  must  pay  fifty 
shillings,  or  three  pounds,  and  hath  nothing  but  an  old 
threadbare  cloake  not  worth  two  groats  to  make  amends  for 
his  losses." 

Bishop  Earle,  who  wrote  in  the  first  half  of  the  seven- 
teenth century,  has  left  this  "character"  of  a  tavern  of  his 
time.  "  A  tavern  is  a  degree,  or  (if  you  will)  a  pair  of 
stairs  above  an  alehouse,  where  men  are  drunk  with  more 
credit  and  apology.  If  the  vintner's  nose  be  at  the  door,  it 
is  a  sign  sufficient,  but  the  absence  of  this  is  supplied  by  the 
ivy-bush.  It  is  a  broacher  of  more  news  than  hogsheads 
and  more  jests  than  news,  which  are  sucked  up  here  by 
some  spungy  brain,  and  from  thence  squeezed  into  a 
comedy.  Men  come  here  to  make  merry,  but  indeed  make 
a  noise,  and  this  music  above  is  answered  with  a  clinking 
below.  The  drawers  are  the  civilest  people  in  it,  men  of 
good  bringing  up,  and  howsoever  we  esteem  them,  none  can 
boast  more  justly  of  their  high  calling.  'Tis  the  best  theatre 
of  natures,  where  they  are  truly  acted,  not  played,  and  the 
business  as  in  the  rest  of  the  world  up  and  down,  to  wit, 
from  the  bottom  of  the  cellar  to  the  great  chamber.  A 
melancholy  man  would  find  here  matter  to  work  upon,  to 
see  heads,  as  brittle  as  glasses,  and  often  broken ;  men  come 
hither  to  quarrel,  and  come  here  to  be  made  friends ;  and  if 
Plutarch  will  lend  me  his  simile,  it  is  even  Telephus's  sword 
that  makes  wounds,  and  cures  them.  It  is  the  common 
consumption  of  the  afternoon,  and  the  murderer  or  the 
maker  away  of  a  rainy  day.  It  is  the  torrid  zone  that 
scorches  the  face,  and  tobacco  the  gunpowder  that  blows  it 
up.  Much  harm  would  be  done  if  the  charitable  vintner 
had  not  water  ready  for  the  flames.  A  house  of  sin  you 
may  call  it,  but  not  a  house  of  darkness,  for  the  candles  are 
never  out ;  and  it  is  like  those  countries,  far  in  the  north, 
where  it  is  as  clear  at  midnight  as  at  mid-day.    After  a 

B  B 


370  .  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDOlf. 

long  fitting  it, becomes  like  a  street  in  a  dashing  shpwer, 
where  the  spouts  are  flushing  above,  and  the  conduits 
ruinniiig  below,  etc.  To  give  you  the  total  reckoning  of.  it, 
it  is  the  busy  man's  recreation,  the  idle  man's  business;  the 
melancholy  man's  sanctuary,  the  stranger's  welcorne,  the 
inns-of-court  man's  entertainment,  the  scholar's  kindness, 
und  the  citizen's  courtesy. '.  It  is  the. study  of  sparkling  vsfits, 
and  a  cup  of  comedy  their  book,  whence  we  leave  them." 

The  conjunction  of  vintner  and  victualler  had  now  become 
common,  and  would  require  other  accommodation  than 
those  mentioned  by  the  Bishop,  as  is  shown  in  Massinger's 
New  Way  to  pay  Old  Debts,  where  Justice  Greedy  makes 
Tapwell's  keeping  no  victuals  in  his  house  as  an  excuse  for 
pulling  down. his  sign  : 

Thou  never  hadst  in  thy  house  to  stay  men's  stomachs, 
A  piece  of  SuffoUccheese,  or  gammon  of  bacon. 
Or  any  esculent  as;  the  learned  call  jt,  , 
For  iheir  emolument,  but  shea'  drin\  only. 
For  which  gross  fault  I  here  do  damn  thy  licence. 
Forbidding  thee  henceforth  to  tap  or  draw  ;    -   ' 
"For  instantly  I  will  in  mine  own  person 
Command  the  constable  to  pull  down  thy  sign, 
And  dq't  before  I  eat. 

And  the  decayed  vintner,  who  afterwards  applies  to  Well- 
born for  payment'  of  his  tavern  score,  answers,  on  his 
inquiring  who  he  is  : 

'.  A  decay 'd  vintner,  sir, 
c  ,     -.  i^{  might  have  thriv'd,  but  that  your  Worship  broke-  me 
With  trusfing  you  with  muscadine  and  eggs,  .      ■ 

AnA  Jive  pound  sappers,  with  your  after-firinki^gSj 

.  When  you  lodged,  upon  the  Bankside.        . , 

Dekker  tells  us,  near  this 'time,  of  regular  prdin^es  of 
three  kinds  ■  ist.  An  ordinary  of  the  longest;  reckonbg, 
whither :most  of  your  courtly  gallants  do  resort:  ,2nd.  A 
twelvepenny  ordinary,  frequented  by  the,  justice  pf  the  peace, 
a  ybiing  Knight ;  and  a  threepenny  ordinary,  to  which,  your 
London  usurer,  your  stale  bachelor,  and  your  thrifty  attorney 


TAVEkNS  OF  OLD  LONDON.  ■yft 

doth  resort.  Then  Dekker  tells  us  of  a  custom,  especially 
in  the  City,  to  send  presents  of  wine  from  one  room  to 
another,  as  a  complimentary  mark  of  friendship.  "  Inquire," 
directs  he,  "  what  gallants  sup  in  the  next  room ;  and  if 
they  be  of  your  acquaintance,  do  not,  after  the  City  fashion, 
send  them  in  a  pottle  of  wine  and  your  name."  Then,  we 
read  of  Master  Brook  sending  to  the  Castle  Inn,  at  Windsor, 
a  morning  draught  of  sack. 

Ned  Ward,  in  the  "  London  Spy,"  i  yog,  describes  several 
famous  taverns,  and  among  them  the  Rose,  anciently  the 
Rose  and  Crown,  as  famous  for  good  wine.  "There  was 
no  parting,"  he  says,  "  without  a  glass ;  so  we  went  into  the 
Rose  Tavern  in  the  Poultry,  where  the  wine,  according  to 
its  merit,  had  justly  gained  a  reputation ;  and  there,  in  a 
snug  room,  warmed  with  brash  and  faggot,  over  a  quart  of 
good  claret,  we  laughed  over  our  nighf  s  adventure." 

"  From  hence,/  pursuant  to  my  friend's  inclination,  we 

adjourned  to  the  sign  of  the  Angel,  in  Fenchurch-street, 

■  where  the  vintner,  like  a  double-dealing  citizen,  condescended 

as  well  to  draw  carman's  comfort  as  the  consolatory  juice  of 

the  vine.    •    .  • 

"  Having  at  the  King's  Head  well  freighted  the  hold  of 
our  vessels  with  excellent  food  and  delicious  wine,  at  a  small 
expense,  we  scribbled  the  following  lines  with  chalk,  upon 
the  wall."    (See  page  350.) 

The  tapster  was  a  male  vendor,  not  "  a  woman  who  had 
the  c^re  of  thetap,"  as  Tyrwbitt  states.  In  the  17th  century 
ballad,  The  Times,  occurs  : 

The  bar-boyes  and  the  tapsters 

Leave  drawing  of  their  beere,  - 
And  running  forth  in  haste  they  cry, 
•  -      "  See,  where  Mull'd  Sack  comes  here  !"'■ 

The  ancient  drawers  and  tapsters  were  now, superseded 
by  the  barmaid,  and  a  number  of  waiters :  Ward  describes 
the  barmaid  as  "  all  ribboS,  lace,  and  feathers,  and  making 
such  a  noise  with  her  bell  and  her  tongue  together,  that  had 

B  B    2 


372  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

half-a-dozen  paper-mills  been  at  work  within  three  yards  oi 
her,  they'd  have  signified  no  more  to  her  clamorous  voice 
than  so  many  lutes  to  a  drum,  which  alarmed  two  or  three 
nimble  fellows  aloft,  who  shot  themselves  downstairs  with 
as  much  celerity  as  a  mountebank's  Mercury  upon  a 
rope  from  the  top  of  a  church-steeple,  every  one  charged 
with  a  mouthful  of  coming,  coming,  coming.''  The  bar- 
maid (generally  the  vintner's  daughter)  is  described  as 
"  bred  at  the  dancing-school,  becoming  a  bar  well,  stepping 
a  minuet  finely,  playing  sweetly  on  the  virginals,  'John 
come  kiss  me  now,  now,  now,'  and  as  proud  as  she  was 
handsome." 

Tom  Brown  sketches  a  flirting  barmaid  of  the  same  time, 
"  as  a  fine  lady  that  stood  pulling  a  rope,  and  screaming  like 
a  peacock  against  rainy  weather,  pinned  up  by  herself  in 
a  little  pew,  all  people  bowing  to  her  as  they  passed  by, 
as  if  she  was  a  goddess  set  up  to  be  worshipped,  armed  with 
the  chalk  and  sponge,  (which  are  the  principal  badges  that 
belong  to  that  honourable  station  you  beheld  her  in,)  was 
the  barmaid." 

Of  the  nimbleness  of  the  waiters.  Ward  says  in  another 
place — "That  the  chief  use  he  saw  in  the  Monument  was, 
for  the  improvement  of  vintners'  boys  and  drawers,  who 
came  every  week  to  exercise  their  supporters,  and  learn  the 
tavern  trip,  by  running  up  to  the  balcony  and  down  again." 

Owen  Swan,  at  the  Black  Swan  Tavern,  Bartholomew 
Lane,  is  thus  apostrophized  by  Tom  Brown  for  the  goodness 
of  his  wine : — 

Thee,  Owen,  since  the  God  of  wme  has  made 
Thee  steward  of  the  gay  carousing  trade. 
Whose  art  decaying  nature  still  supplies, 
Warms  the  feint  pulse,  and  sparkles  in  our  eyes. 
Be  bountiful  like  him,  bring  t'other _/?iU/{, 
Were  the  stairs  wider  we  would  have  the  hask. 
''    ■'■  This  pow'r  we  from  the  God  of  wine  derive,  ' 

""■  Draw  such  as  this,  and  I'll  pronounce  thou'lt  live.  ;    ' 


373 


The  Bear  at  the  Bridge  Foot. 

This  celebrated  tavern,  situated  in  Southwark,  on  the  west 
side  of  the  foot  of  London  Bridge,  opposite  the  end  of  St. 
Olave's,  or  Tooley-street,  was  a  house  of  considerable 
antiquity.  We  read  in  the  accounts  of  the  Steward  of  Sir 
John  Howard,  March  6th,  1463-4  (Edward  IV.),  "  Item, 
payd  for  red  wyn  at  the  Bere  in  Southwerke,  ujd"  Garrard, 
in  a  letter  to  Lord  Strafford,  dated  1633,  intimates  that  "  all 
back-doors  to  taverns  on  the  Thames  are  commanded  to  be 
shut  up,  only  the  Bear  at  Bridge  Foot  is  exempted,  by  reason 
of  the  passage  to  Greenwich,"  which  Mr.  Burn  suspects  to 
have  been  "  the  avenue  or  way  called  Bear  Alley." 

The  Cavaliers'  Ballad  on  the  funeral  pageant  of  Admiral 
Deane,  killed  June  2nd,  1653,  while  passing  by  water  to 
Henry  the  Seventh's  Chapel,  Westminster,  has  the  following 
allusion  : — 

From  Greenwich  towards  the  Bear  at  Bridge  foot. 
He  was  wafted  with  wind  that  had  water  to't, 
But  I  think  they  brought  the  devil  to  boot, 

Which  nobody  can  deny. 

Pepys  was  told  by  a  waterman,  going  through  the  bridge, 
24th  Feb.  1666-7,  that  the  mistress  of  the  Beare  Tavern,  at 
the  Bridge-foot,  "  did  lately  fling  herself  into  the  Thames, 
and  drown  herself." 

The  Bear  must  have  been  a  characterless  house,  for  among 
its  gallantries  was  the  following,  told  by  Wycherley  to  Major 
Pack,  "just  for  the  oddness  of  the  thing."  It  was  this: 
"There  was  a  house  at  the  Bridge  Foot  where  persons  of 
better  condition  used  to  resort  for  pleasure  and  privacy.  The 
liquor  the  ladies  and  their  lovers  used  to  drink  at  these  meet- 
ings was  canary ;  and  among  other  compliments  the  gentle- 
men paid  their  mistresses,  this  it  seems  was  always  one,  to 
take  hold  of  the  bottom  of  their  smocks,  and  pouring  the  wine 


374  CLUB  LIFE  QF  LONDON. 

through  that  filter,  feast  their  imaginations  with  the  thought 
of  what  gave  the  zesto,  and  so  drink  a  health  to  the  toast." 
The  Bear  Tavern  was  taken  down  in  December,  1761, 
when  the  labourers  found  gold  and  silver  coins,  of  the  time 
of  Elizabeth,  to  a  considerable  value.  The  wall  that  enclosed 
the  tavern  was  not  cleared  away  until  1764,  when  the  ground 
was  cleared  and  levelled  quite  up  to  Pepper  Alley  stairs. 
There  is  a  Token  of  the  Bear  Tavern,  in  the  Beaufroy 
cabinet,  which,  with  other  rare  Southwark  tokens,  was  found 
under  the  floors  in  taking  down  St.  Glave's  Grammar  School 
in  1839. 

Mermaid  Taverns.. 

The  celebrated  Mermaid,  in  Bread-street,  with  the  history 
of  "  the  Mermaid  Club,"  has  been  described  in  pp.  7-9 ;  its 
interest  centres  in  this  famous  company  of  wits. 

There  was  another  Mermaid,  in  Cheapside,  next  to  Paul's 
Gate,  and  still  another  in  Cornhill.  Of  the  latter  we  find  in 
Bum's  Beaufoy  Catalogue,  that  the  vintner,  buried  in  St. 
Peter's,  Cornhill,  in  1606,  "gave  forty  shillings  yearly  to  the 
parson  for  preaching  four  sermons  every  year,  so  long  as  the 
lease  of  the  Mermaid,  in  Cornhill,  (the  tavern  so  called,) 
should  endure.  He  also  gave  to  the  poor  of  the  said  parish 
thirteen  penny  loaves  every  Sunday,  during  the  aforesaid 
ease."  There  are  tokens  of  both; these  taverns  in  the 
Beaufoy  Collection. 

The  Boar's  Head  Tavern. 

This  celebrated  Shakspearean  tavern  was  situated  in  Great 
Eastcheap,  and  is  first  mentioned  in  the  time  of  Richard  II.' ; 
the  scene  of  the  revels  of  Falstaff  and  Henry  V.,  when 
Prmce  of-  Wales,  in  Shakspeare's  Henry  IV.,  part  2.  Stow 
relates  a  riot  in  "  the  cooks'  dwellings  "  here  on  St.  John's 
eve,  1410,  by  Princes  John  and  Thomas.  The  tavern  was 
destroyed  in  the  Great  Fire  of  1666,  but  was  rebuilt  in  two 


THE  BOARS  HEAD  TAVERN.  i%. 

fears,  as  attested  by  a  boar's  head  cut  ifi  stone,  with  the 
initials  of  the  landlord,  I.T.,  and  the  date  1668,  above  the 
first-floor  window;  this  sign-stofie  is  now  in  the  Guildhall 
library.  The  house  stood '  between  •Small-alley  and  St. 
Michael* s-lane,  and  in  the  rear  looked  upon  St.  Michd,ers 
churchyard,  where  was  buried  a  drawer,  or  -waiteii",  at  the 
tavern,  d.  1720  :  in  the  church  was  interred  John  Rhodbway, 
"  Vintner  at  the  Bore's  Head,"  16^3. 

Maitland,. in  1739,  mentions  the  Boar's  Head,  as  "the 
chief  tavern  in  London ",  under,  the  sign.  Goldsmith 
("Essays"),  Boswell  ("Life  of  Dr.  Johnson"),  and  Washing- 
ton Irving  ("Sketch-book"),  have  idealized' the  house  as 
the  identical  place  which  Falstaff  frequented,  forgetting  its 
destruction  in  the  Great  Fire.  The  site  of  the  Boar's  Head 
is  very  nearly  that  of  the  statue  of  King  William  IV. 

in  1834;  Mr.  Kempe,  F.S.A.,  exhibited  to  the  Society  of 
Attticjuaries  a  carved  oak  figure  of  Sir  John  Falstaflf,  in  the 
costume  of  the  ■  i6th  century;  it  had  supported 'an  orna- 
mental bracket  dver  one  side  of  the  door  of  the  Boar's  Head, 
a  figure  of  Prince  Henry  sustaining  -that  on  the  other.  ■  The ' 
Falstaff  was  the  property  of  one  Shelton,  a  brazier,- whose  an- 
cestors had  lived  in  the  shop  he  then  occupied  in  Great 
Eastcheap,  since  the  Great  Fire.  He  well  remembered  the 
last  Shakspeareaii  grand  dinner-party  at  the  Boar's  Head, 
about  1784 :'  at  an  earlier  partyi  Mr.  Wilberforee  was  pre- 
sent. A  boar's  head,  with  tusks,  which  had  been  suspended 
in  a  room  of  the  tavern,  perhaps  the  Half-Moon  or  Pome- 
granate, (see  Henry  IV;  act  il  sc.  4,)  at  the  Great  Fire,  fell 
■down  with '  the  ruins  of  the  house,  and  was  conveyed  to 
Whitechapel  Mount,  wh'ei-e,  many  years-  after,  it  was  re- 
covered, and  identified  with  its  former  locality.  At  a 
pnblic  house,' No,  12,  Miles-lane,  was  long  preserv'ed  a 
tobacco-box,  with  a  painting  of  the  original  Boar's  Head 
Tavern  on  the  lid.* 


"Curiosities  of  London,"  p.  265. 


376  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

In  High-street,  South wark,  in  the  rear  of  Nos.  25  and  26, 
was  formerly  the  Boar's  Head  Inn,  part  of  Sir  John  Falstolf's 
benefaction  to  Magdalen  College,  Oxford.  Sir  John  was 
one  of  the  bravest  generals  in  the  French  wars,  under  the 
fourth,  fifth,  and  sixth  Henries ;  but  he  is  not  the  Falstaff  of 
Shakspeare.  In  the  "  Reliquiae  Hearnianse,"  edited  by  Dr. 
Bliss,  is  the  following  entry  relative  to  this  bequest : — 

1721.  June  2. — The  reason  why  they  cannot  give  so  good  an  account 
of  the  benefaction  of  Sir  John  Fastolf  to  Magd.  Coll.  is,  because  he 
gave  it  to  the  founder,  and  left  it  to  his  management,  so  that  'tis  sup- 
pos'd  'twas  swallow'd  up  in  his  own  estate  that  he  settled  it  upon  the 
college.  However,  the  college  knows  this,  that  the  Boar's  Head  in 
Southwark,  which  was  then  an  inn,  and  still  retains  the  name,  tho' 
divided  into  several  tenements  (which  bring  the  college  about  150/.  per 
ann.),  was  part  of  Sir  John's  gift." 

The  above  property  was  for  many  years  sublet  to  the 
family  of  the  author  of  the  present  Work,  at  the  rent  of  150/. 
per  annum ;  the  cellar,  finely  vaulted,  and  excellent  for 
wine,  extended,  beneath  the  entire  court,  consisting  of  two 
rows  of  tenements,  and  two  end.  houses,  with  galleries,  the 
entrance  being  from  the  High-street.  The  premises  were 
taken  down  for  the  New  London  Bridge  approaches.  There 
was  also  a  noted  Boar's  Head  in  Old  Fish-street 

Can  he  forget  who  has  read  Goldsmith's  nineteenth 
Essay,  his  reverie  at  the  Boar's  Head  ? — when,  having  con- 
fabulated with  the  landlord  till  long  after  "  the  watchman 
had  gone  twelve,"  and  suffused  in  the  potency  of  his  wine  a 
mutation  in  his  ideas,  of  the  person  of  the  host  into  that  of 
Dame  Quickly,  mistress  of  the  tavern  in  the  days  of  Sir  John, 
is  promptly  affected,  and  the  Uquor  they  were  drinking  seemed 
shortly  converted  into  sack  and  sugar.  Mrs.  Quickly's  re- 
cital of  the  history  of  herself  and  Doll  Tearsheet,  whose 
frailties  in  the  flesh  caused  their  being  both  sent  to  the 
house  of  correction,  charged  with  having  allowed  the  famed 
Boar's  Head  to  become  a  low  brothel;  her  speedy  de- 
parture to  the  world  of  Spirits ;  and  Falstaff's  impertinences 


THREE  CRANES  IN  THE  VJNTRY.  yjl 

as  affecting  Madame  Proserpine;  are  followed  by  an  enume- 
ration of  persons  who  had  held  tenancy  of  the  house  since 
her  time.  The  last  hostess  of  note  was,  according  to  Gold- 
smith's account,  Jane  Rouse,  who,  having  unfortunately 
quarrelled  with  one  of  her  neighbours,  a  woman  of  high  re- 
pute in  the  parish  for  sanctity,  but  as  jealous  as  Chaucer's 
Wife  of  Bath,  was  by  her  accused  of  witchcraft,  taken  from 
her  own  bar,  condemned  and  executed  accordingly  ! — These 
were  times,  indeed,  when  women  could  not  scold  in  safety. 
These  and  other  prudential  apophthegms  on  the  part  of 
Dame  Quickly,  seem  to  have  dissolved  Goldsmith's  stupor 
of  ideality ;  on  his  awaking,  the  landlord  is  really  the  land- 
lord, and  not  the  hostess  of  a  former  day,  when  "  Falstaff 
was  in  fact  an  agreeable  old  fellow,  forgetting  age,  and 
showing  the  way  to  be  young  at  sixty-five.  Age,  care, 
wisdom,  reflection,  begone  !  I  give  you  to  the  winds. 
Let's  have  t'other  bottle.  Here's  to  the  memory  of  Shak- 
speare,  Falstaff,  and  all  the  merry  men  of  Eastcheap."* 

Three  Cranes  in  the  Vintry. 

This  was  one  of  Ben  Jonson's  taverns,  and  has  already 
been  incidentally  mentioned.  Strype  describes  it  as  situate 
in  "New  Queen-street,  commonly  called  the  Three  Cranes 
in  the  Vintry,  a  good  open  street,  especially  that  part  next 
Cheapside,  which  is  best  built  and  inhabited.  At  the  lowest 
end  of  the  street  next  the  Thames,  is  a  pair  of  stairs,  the 
usual  place  for  the  Lord  Mayor  and  Aldermen  to  take  water 
at,  to  go  to  Westminister  Hall,  for  the  new  Lord  Mayor  to  be 
sworn  before  the  Barons  of  the  Exchequer.  This  place,  with 
the  Three  Cranes,  is  now  of  some  account  for  the  coster- 
mongers,  where  they  have  their  warehouse  for  their  fruit." 
In  Scott's  "  Kenilworth  "  we  hear  much  of  this  Tavern. 


"Bum's  Catalogue  of  the  Beaufoy  Tokens.' 


37S 


London  Stone  Tavern. 

This  tavern,  situated  in  CannonrStreet,  near  the  Stone;  is  ■■ 
stated,  but  not  correctly,  to  have  been  the  oldest  in  London. 
Here  was  formed  a  society,  afterwards  the  famous  Robin 
Hood,  of  which  the  history  was  published  in  1 716,  where  it 
is  stated  to  have  originated  in  a  meeting  of  the  editor's : 
grandfather  with  the  great  Sir  Hugh  Myddelton,  of  New 
River  memory.  King  Charles  II.  was  introduced  to  the 
society,  disguised,  by  Sir,  Hugh,  and  the  King  liked  it  so 
wiell  that  he  came '  thrice  afterwards.  "  He  had,"  coiitinues 
the  narrative,  "a  piece  of  black  silk  over  his  left  cheek, 
which  almost'  covered  it;  and  his  eyebrows,  which  were 
quite  black,  he  had,. by  some  artifice  or  other,  converted  to 
alight  brown,  or  rather  flaxen  colour;  and  had  otherwise 
disguised  himself  so  effectually  in  his  apparel  and  his  looks,' 
that  nobody  knew  him  but  Sir  Hugh,  by  whom  he  was  in- 
troduced." This  is  very  circumstantial,  but  is  very  doubtful ; 
since  Sir  Hugh  Myddelton  died  when  Charles  was  in  his 
tenth  year. 

The  Robin  Hood. 

Mr.    Akerman- describes  a  Token  of  the  Robin  Hood 
Tavern  : — "  iohn  thomlin.son  at  the.     An  archer  fitting  ■ 
an  arrow  to  his  bow;   a  small  figure  behind,  holding  an 
arrow. — JBt.  in  chiswell  street,  1667.     In  the  centre,  his 
HALFE  PENNY,  and  I.  s.  T.    Mr.  Akerman  continues : 

"It  is  easy  to  perceive  what  is  intended  by  the  repre-' 
senitation  on  the  obverse  of  this  token.  Though  '  Littie 
John,'  we  are  told,' stood  upwards  of  six  good  English  feet 
without  his  shoes,  he  is  here  depicted  to  suit  the  popular 
humour — a  dwarf  in  size,  'compared  with  his  friend  and 
leader,  the  bold  outlaw.  The  proximity  of  Chiswell-street 
to  Finsbury-fieldS  may  have  led  to  the  adoption  of  the  sign, 
which  was  doubtless  at  a  time  when  archery  was  considered 


PONTACK'S,  ASCHURCH-LANE.  379 

an  elegant  as  well  as  an  indispensable  accomplishment  of 
an  English  gentleman.  It  is  far  from  obsolete  now,  as 
several  low  public-houses  and  beer^shops  in  the  vicinity  of 
London  testify:  One  of  them  exhibits  Robin  Hood  and  his 
companion  dressed  in  the  most  approved  style  of '  Astley's,' 
and  underneath  the  group  is  the  following  irresistible  invita- 
tion to  slake  your  thirst : — 

Ye  archers  bold  and  yeomen  good, 
Stop  and  drink  with  Robin  Hood  : 
If  Robin  Hood  is  not  at  home. 
Stop  and.drink  with  little  John." 

"  Our  London  readers  could  doubtless  supply  the  variorum 
copies  of  this  elegant  distich^  which,  as  this  is  an  age  for 
'  Family  Shakspeares,'  modernized  Chaucers,  and  new  ver- 
sions of  '  Robin ,  Hood's  Garland,' we'  recommend  to  the 
notice  of  the  next  editor  of  the  ballads  in  praise  of  the 
Sherwood  freebooter." 

Pontack'Sj  Abchurch  Lane. 

After  the  destruction  of  the  White  Bear  Tavern,  in  the 
Great  Fire  of  1666,  the  proximity  of  the  site  for  all  purposes 
of  business,  induced  M.  Pontack,  the  son  of'  the  President 
of  Bordeaux,  owner  of  a  famous  claret  district,  to  establish  a 
tavern,  with  all  the  novelties  of  French  "cookery,  with  his 
father's  head  as  a  sign,  whence  it  was  popularly  called 
"Pontack's  Head,"  The  .dinners  were  from  four  or  five 
shillings  a  head  "  to  a  guinea,  or  what  sum  you  pleased." 

.Swift  frequented  the  tavern,  and  writes  to"  Stella : — 
"Pontack  told  us,  although  his  wine  was  so  good,  he  sold  it 
dieaper  than  ojtUws  J  he  took  but  seven  shillings  a  flask. 
Are  not  these  pretty  rates  ?"  In  the  "Hind  and  Panther 
Transversed,"  we  read  of  drawers  : — 

Sure  these  honest  fellows  have  no  knack 
Of  putting  off  stum'd  claret  for  Pontack. 


38o  CLUB  LIFE  OP  LONDON. 

The  Fellows  of  the  Royal  Society  dined  at  Pontack's  until 
1746,  when  they  removed  to  the  Devil  Tavern.  There  is  a 
Token  of  the  White  Bear  in  the  Beaufoy  Collection ;  and 
Mr.  Bum  tells  us,  from  "  Metamorphoses  of  the  Town,"  a 
rare  tract,  1731,  of  Pontack's  "guinea  ordinary,"  "ragout 
of  fatted  snails,"  and  "  chickens  not  two  hours  from  the 
shell."  In  January,  1735,  Mrs.  Susannah  Austin,  who  lately 
kept  Pontack's,  and  had  acquired  a  considerable  fortune, 
was  married  to  William  Pepys,  banker,  in  Lombard-street. 

Pope's  Head  Tavern. 

This  noted  tavern,  which  gave  name  to  Pope's  Head 
Alley,  leading  from  Cornhill  to  Lombard-street,  is  mentioned 
as  early  as  the  4th  Edward  IV.  (1464)  in  the  account  of  a 
wager  between  an  Alicant  goldsmith  and  an  English  gold- 
smith ;  the  Alicant  stranger  contending  in  the  tavern  that 
"  Englishmen  were  not  so  cunning  in  workmanship  of  gold- 
smithry  as  Alicant  strangers ;''  when  work  was  produced  by 
both,  and  the  Englishman  gained  the  wager.  The  tavern 
was  left  in  16 15,  by  Sir  William  Craven,  to  the  Merchant 
Tailors'  Company.  Pepys  refers  to  "the  fine  painted 
room"  here  in  1668-9.  I"  the  tavern,  April  14,  1718, 
Quin,  the  actor,  killed  in  self-defence  his  fellow-comedian, 
Bowen,  a  clever  but  hot-headed  Irishman,  who  was  jealous 
of  Quin's  reputation  :  in  a  moment  of  great  anger,  he  sent 
for  Quin  to  the  tavern,  and  as  soon  as  he  had  entered  the 
room,  Bowen  placed  his  back  against  the  door,  drew  his 
sword,  and  bade  Quin  draw  his.  Quin,  having  mildly 
remonstrated  to  no  purpose,  drew  in  his  own  defence,  and 
endeavoured  to  disarm  his  antagonist.  Bowen  received  a 
wound,  of  which  he  died  in  three  days,  having  acknowledged 
his  folly  and  madness,  when  the  loss  of  blood  had  reduced 
him  to  reason.  Quin  was  tried  and  acquitted.  ("  Cunning- 
ham, abridged.")  The  Pope's  Head  Tavern  was  in  existence 
in  1756. 


3Si 


The  Old  Swan,  Thames-street, 

Was  more  than  five  hundred  years  ago  a  house  for  public 
entertainment:  for,  in  1323,  16  Edw.  II.,  Rose  Wrytell 
bequeathed  "  the  tenement  of  olde  tyme  called  the  Swanne 
on  the  Hope  in  Thames-street,"  in  the  parish  of  St.  Mary- 
at-hill,  to  maintain  a  priest  at  the  altar  of  St.  Edmund,  King 
and  Martyr,  "  for  her  soul,  and  the  souls  of  her  husband, 
her  father,  and  mother  :"  and  the  purposes  of  her  bequest 
were  established ;  for,  in  the  parish  book,  in  1499,  is  entered 
a  disbursement  of  fourpence,  "for  a  cresset  to  Rose 
Wrytell's  chantry.''  Eleanor  Cobham,  Duchess  of  Glou- 
cester, in  1440,  in  her  public  penance  for  witchcraft  and 
treason,  landed  at  Old  Swan,  bearing  a  large  taper,  her  feet 
bare,  etc. 

Stow,  in  1598,  mentions  the  Old  Swan  as  a  great  brew- 
house.  Taylor,  the  Water-poet,  advertised  the  professor 
and  author  of  the  Barmoodo  and  Vtopian  tongues,  dwelling 
"  at  the  Old  Swanne,  neare  London  Bridge,  who  will  teach 
them  at  are  willing  to  leame,  with  agility  and  facility." 

In  the  scurrilous  Cavalier  ballad  of  Admiral  Deane's 
Funeral,  by  water,  from  Greenwich  to  Westminster,  in  June, 
1653,  it  is  said: — 

The  Old  Swan,  as  he  passed  by, 

Said  she  would  sing  him  a  dirge,  lye  down  and  die  : 

Wilt  thou  sing  to  a  bit  of  a  body  ?  quoth  I, 

Which  nobody  can  deny. 

The  Old  Swan  Tavern  and  its  landing-stairs  were  destroyed 
in  the  Great  Fire ;  but.  rebuilt.  Its  Token,  In  the  Beaufoy 
Collection,  is  one  of  the  rarest,  of  large  size. 

Cock  Tavern,  Threadneedle-street. 

This  noted  house,  which  faced  the  north  gate  of  the  old 
Royal  Exchange,  was  long  celebrated  for  the  excellence  of 


382  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON: 

its  soups,  which  were  served  at  an  economical  price,  in 
silver.  One- of  its  proprietors  was,  it  is  believed,  John  Ellis, 
an  eccentric  character,  and  a  writer  of  some  reputation,  who 
died  in  1791.  Eight  stanzas  addressed  to  him  in  praise  of 
the  tavern,  commenced  thus  : — 

When  to  Ellis  I  write,  I  in  verse  must  indite, 

Come  Phoebus,  and  give  me  a  knock, 
For  on  Friday  at  eight,  all  behind  "  the  'Change  gate,"     : 

Master  Ellis  will  be  at  "  The  Cock." 

After  Comparing  it  to  other  houses,  the  Pope's  Head,  the 
King's  Arms,  the  Black  Swan,  and  the  Fountain,  and  de- 
claring the  Cock  the  best,  it  ends  : 

'Tis  time  to  be  gone,  for  the  'Change  has  struck  one  : 

O  'tis  an  impertinent  clock  !  • 

For  with  Ellis  I'd  stay  from  December  to  May  ; 

I'll  stick  to  my  Friend,  and  "  The  Cock  !" 

This  house  was  taken  down  in  1841 ;  when,  in  a  claim'  for 
compertsation  made  by  the  proprietor,-  the  trade  in  three 
years  was  proved  to  have  been  344,720  basins  of  various 
soups — ^viz.  166,240  mock  turtle,  3,920  giblet,  59,360  ox- 
tail, 31,072  bouilli,  84,1 28  gravy  and  other  soups  :  sometimes 
500  basins  of  soup  were  sold  in  a  day. 

Crown  Tavern,  Threadneedle-street. 

Upon  the  site  of  the  present  chief  entrance  to  the  Bank 
of  England,  in  Threadneedle-street,  stood  the  Crown  Tavern, 
"  behind  the  'Change :"  it  was  frequented  by  the  Fellows  of 
the  Royal  Society,  when  they  met  at  Gresham  College '  hard 
by.  The  Crown  was  burnt  in  the  Great  Fire,  but  was 
rebuilt ;  and  about  a  centtiry '  since,  at  this  tavern,  "  it  was 
not  unusual  to  draw  a  butt  of  mountain  wine,  containing 
\io  gallons,  in  gills,  in  a  morning."—- ^«V  John  Hawkins. 

Behind  the  'Change,  we  read  in  the  Connoisseur,  1754,  a 
a  man  worth  a  plum  used  to  order  a  twopenny  mess  of 
broth  with  a  boiled  chop  in  it;  placing  the  chop  between 


;  THE  KING'S  HEAD  TA  VERN.  583 

the  two  crusts  of  a  halfpenny  roll,  he  would  wrap  it  up  in 
his  clieck  handkerchief,  and  carry  it  away  for  the  morrow's 
dinner. 

The  King's  Head  Tavern,  in  the  Poultry. 

This  Tavern,  which  stood  at  the  western  extremity,  of  the 
Stocks'  Market,  was  not  first  known  by  the  sign  of  the 
King's  Head,  but  the  Rose  :  Machin,  in  his  Diary,  Jan.  5, 
1560,  thus  mentions  it:  "A  gentleman  arrested  for  debt; 
Master  Cobham,  with  divers  gentlemen  and;  serving-men, 
took  him  from  the  officers,  and  carried  him  to  the -Rose 
Tavern,  where  so  great  a  fray,  both  the  sheriffs  were  feign  to 
£ome,  and  from  the  Rose  Tavern  took  all  the  gentlemen 
and  their  servants,  and  carried  them  to  the  Compter." 

The  house  was  distiuguished  by  the  device  of  a  large, 
well-painted  Rose,  erected  over  a  doorway,  which  was  the 
only  indication  in  the  main  street  otisuch  an  establishment. 
In  the  superior  houses  of  the  metropolis  in  the  sixteenth 
century,  room  was  gained  in  the  rear  of  the  stjreet-line,  the 
space  in  front  being  economized,  so  that  the  line  of  .shops 
might  not  be  interrupted.  Upon  this,  ,plan, ,  the  larger 
taverns  in  the  City  were  constructed,  wherever  the  ground 
was  sufficiently  spacious  behind:  hence  it  was  that., the 
Poultry  tavern  of  which  we  are  speaking,  was  approached 
.through  a  long,  narrow,  covered  passage,  opening  into  a 
.well-lighted  quadrangle,  around  which  were  the  tavern-rooms. 
The  sign  of  the  Rose  appears  to,  have  been  a, costly  work, 
since  there  was  the  fragment  of  a  leaf  of  an  old  account- 
book  preserved,  when  the  ruins  of  the, house  were  pleared 
after  tiie  Great  Fire,  on  which  were  written  .these  entries  : — 
*'Pd.  to  Hoggestreete,  tiie  Duche  Paynter,  for  y"  Picture  of 
a  Rose,  w*"  a  Standing-bowle  and  (glasses,  for  a.Signe,  %xli. 
besides  Diners  and  Drinkings.  Also,  for  a  large  Table  of 
Walnut-tree,  for  a  .Frame ;  and  for  liron-worke  and  Hanging 
■the  Picture,  v/«,"    The  artist  who  is  ireferred  to. in  this 


3S4  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

memorandum,  could  be  no  other  than  Samuel  Van  Hoog- 
straten,  a  painter  of  the  middle  of  the  seventeenth  century, 
whose  works  in  England  are  very  rare.  He  was  one  of  the 
many  excellent  artists  of  the  period,  who,  as  Walpole 
contemptuously  says,  "  painted  still-life,  oranges  and  lemons, 
plate,  damask  curtains,  cloth  of  gold,  and  that  medley  of 
familiar  objects  that  strike  the  ignorant  vulgar." 

But,  beside  the  claims  of  the  painter,  the  sign  of  the  Rose 
cost  the  worthy  tavemkeeper  a  still  further  outlay,  in  the 
form  of  divers  treatings  and  advances  made  to  a  certain 
rather  loose  man  of  letters  of  his  acquaintance,  possessed  of 
more  wit  than  money,  and  of  more  convivial  loyalty  than 
either  discretion  or  principle.  Master  Roger  Blythe  fre- 
quently patronized  the  Rose  Tavern  as  his  favourite 
ordinary.  Like  Falstaff,  he  was  "  an  infinite  thing "  upon 
his  host's  score ;  and,  like  his  prototype  also,  there  was  no 
probability  of  his  ever  discharging  the  account.  When  the 
Tavern-sign  was  about  to  be  erected,  this  Master  Blythe 
contributed  the  poetry  to  it,  after  the  fashion  of  the  time, 
which  he  swore  was  the  envy  of  all  the  Rose  Taverns  in 
London,  and  of  all  the  poets  who  frequented  them. 
"  There's  your  Rose  at  Temple  Bar,  and  your  Rose  in 
Covent  Garden,  and  the  Rose  in  Southwark  :  all  of  thera 
indifferent  good  for  wits,  and  for  drawing  neat  wines  too ; 
but,  smite  me.  Master  King,"  he  would  say,  "  if  I  know  one 
of  them  all  fit  to  be  set  in  the  same  hemisphere  with  yours  ! 
No  !  for  a  bountiful  host,  a  most  sweet  mistress,  unsophisti- 
cated wines,  honest  measures,  a  choicely  painted  sign,  and  a 
witty  verse  to  set  it  off  withal, — commend  me  to  the  Rose 
Tavern  in  the  Poultry !" 

Even  the  tavern-door  exhibited  a  joyous  frontispiece; 
since  the  entrance  was  flanked  by  two  columns  twisted  with 
vines  carved  in  wood,  which  supported  a  small  square 
gallery  over  the  portico  surrounded  by  handsome  iron-work. 
On  the  front  of  this  gallery  was  erected  the  sign,  in  a  frame 
of  similar  ornaments.     It  consisted  of  a  central  compart. 


THE  KINGS  HEAD  TA  VERN.  385 

ment  containing  the  Rose,  behind  which  appeared  a  tall 
silver  cup,  called  in  the  language  of  the  time  "  a  standmg- 
bowl,"  with  drinking-glasses.  Beneath  the  painting  was  this 
inscription ; — 

THIS   IS 

THE  ROSE  TA  VERNE 

IN   THE   POULTREY  : 
KEPT   BY 

WILLIAM  KING, 
Citizen  and  Vintner. 
This  Taveme's  like  its  Signe — a  lustie  Rose, 
A  sight  of  joy  that  sweetness  doth  enclose  : 
The  daintie  Flow're  well-pictur'd  here  is  seene, 
But  for  its  rarest  sweetes — Come,  Searche  Within  ! 

The  authorities  of  St.  Peter-upon-Comhill  soon  deter- 
mined, on  the  loth  of  May,  1660,  in  Vestry,  "that  the 
King's  Arms,  in  painted-glass,  should  be  refreshed,  and 
forthwith  be  set  up  by  the  Churchwarden  at  the  parish- 
charges  j  with  whatsoever  he  giveth  to  the  glazier  as  a 
gratuity,  for  his  care  in  keeping  of  them  all  this  while." 

The  host  of  the  Rose  resolved  at  once  to  add  a  Crown  to 
his  sign,  with  the  portrait  of  Charles,  wearing  it  in  the  centre 
of  the  flower,  and  openly  to  name  his  tavern  "  The  Royal 
Rose  and  King's  Head."  He  effected  his  design,  partly  by 
the  aid  of  one  of  the  many  excellent  pencils  which  the  time 
supplied,  and  partly  by  the  inventive  muse  of  Master 
Blythe,  which  soon  furnished  him  with  a  new  poesy.  There 
is  not  any  fiirther  information  extant  concerning  the  paint- 
ing, but  the  following  remains  of  an  entry  on  another  torn 
fragment  of  the  old  account-book  already  mentioned,  seem 
to  refer  to  the  poetical  inscription  beneath  the  picture  :-^ 
.  ..."  on  y'  Night  when  he  made  y'  Verses  for  my  new 
Signe,  a  Sqper,  and  v.  Peeces."  The  verses  themselves  were 
as  follow : — 

Gallants,  Rejoice  ! — This  Flow're  is  now  fuU-blowne ; 

'Tis  a  Rose-Noble  better'd  by  a  Crowne ; 

All  you  who  love  the  Embleme  and  the  Signe, 

Enter,  and  prove  our  Loyaltie  and  Wine. 

c  c 


386  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

Beside  this  inscription,  Master  King  also  recorded  the 
auspicious  event  referred  to,  by  causing  his  painter  to 
introduce  ii\to  the  picture  a  broad-sheet,  as  if  lying  on  the 
table  with  the  cup  and  glasses — on  which  appeared  the  title, 
"A  Kalendar  for  this  Happy  Yeare  of  Restauratioit,  1660, 
now  newly  Imprinted." 

As  the  time  advanced  when  Charles  was  to  make  his 
entry  into  the  metropolis,  the  streets  were  resounding  with 
the  voices  of  ballad-singers  pouring- forth  loyal  songs,  and 
declaring,  with  the  whole  strength  of  their  lungs,  that 

The  King  shall  enjoy  his  own  again. 

Then,  there  were  also  to  be  heard,  the  ceaseless  horns  and 
proclamations  of  hawkers  and.  flying-station ers^  publishing 
the  latest  passages  or  rumours  touching  the  royal  progress ; 
which,  wheither  genuine  or  not,  were  bought  and  read,  and 
circulated,  by  all  parties.  At  length  all '  the  previous 
pamphlets  and  broad-sheets  were  swallowed  up  by  a  well- 
known  tract,  still  extant,  which  the  news-men  of  the  time 
thiis  proclaimed  :— "  Here  is  A  True  Accompt  and  Narra- 
tive— of  his  Majesties  safe  Arrival  in  England^as  'twas 
reported  to  the  House  of  Commons,  on  Friday,  the  'z^th  day 
of  this  present  May^-with  the  Resolutions  of  both  Houses 
thereupon : — Also  a  Letter  very  lately  writ  from  Dover — 
relating  -divers  remarkable  Passages  of  his  Majesties  Recep- 
tion there." 

On  eveiy  side  the  signs  and  iron-work  were  either 
refreshed,  or  newly  gilt  and  painted :  tapestries  and  rich 
hangings,  which  had  engendered  moth  and  decay  from  long 
disuse,  were  flung  abroad  again,  that  they  might  be  ready 
to  grace  the  coming  pageant.  The  paving  of  the  streets 
was  levelled  and  repaired  for  the  expected  cavalcade ;  and 
scaffolds  for  spectators  were  in  the  course  df  erection 
throughout  all  the  line  of  march.  Floods  of  all  sorts  of 
wines  were  consumed,  as   well  in  the  streets  as  in  the 


THE  KING'S  HEAD  TA  VERN.  387 

taverns  ;  and  endless  healths  were  devotedly  and  energeti- 
cally swallowed,  at  morning,  noon,  and  night. 

At  this  time  Mistress  Rebecca  King  was  about  to  add 
another  member  to  Master  King's  household :,  she  received 
from  hour  to  hour  accounts  of  the  proceedings  as  they 
occurred,  which  so  stimulated  her  curiosity  that  she  declared, 
first  to  her  gossips,  and  then  to  her  husband,  that  she  "must  see 
the  King  pass  the  tavern^  or  matters  might  go  cross  with  her." 

A  kind  of  arbour  was  inade  for  Mistress  Rebecca  in  the 
small  iron  gallery  surmounting  the  entrance  to  the  tavern. 
This  arbour  was  of  green  boughs  and  flowers,  hung  round 
with  tapestry  and  garnished  with  silver  plate;  and  here, 
when  the  guns  at  the  Tower  announced  that  Charles  had 
entered  London,  Mistress  King  took  her  seat,  with  her 
children  and  gossips  around  her.  AH  the  houses  in  the 
main  streets  from  London-bridge  to  Whitehall  were  deco- 
rated, like  the  tavern,  with  rich  silks  and  tapestries,  hung 
from  every  scaffold,  balcony,  and  window;  which,  as 
Herrick  says,  turned  the  town  into  a  park,  "made  green 
and  trimmed  with  boughs."  The  road  through  London,  so 
far  as  Temple-Bar,  was  lined  on  the  north  side  by  the  City 
Companies,  dressed  in  their  liveries,  and  raeged  in  their 
respective  stands,  with  ttheir  banners ;  and  on  the  south  by 
the  soldiers  of  the  trained-bands. 

One  of  the  wine  conduits  stood  on  the  south  side  of  the 
Stocks' Market,  over  which  Sir  Robert  Yiner .  subsequerltly 
erected  a  triumphal  statue  of  Charles  II.  Aboiit  this  spot; 
therefore,' the  crowd  collected  in  the  Market-place,  aided  by 
the  fierce  loyalty  supplied  from  the  conduit,  appears  for  a 
time  to  have  brought  the  procession  to  a  full  stop,  at  the 
moment  when-  Charles,  who;  rode  between  his  brothers,  the 
Dukes  of  York  and  Gloucester,  was  nearly  opposite  to  the 
newly-named  King's  Head  Tavern.  In-  this  most  favourable 
interval.  Master  Blythe,  who  stood  upon  a  scaffold  in  the 
doorway,  took  the  opportunity  of  elevating  a  silver  cup  of 
wine  and  shouting  oUt  a  health  to  his  Majesty.     His  ener- 

c  C  2 


388  CLUB  l-IFE  OF  LONDON. 

getical  action,  as  he  pointed  upwards  to  the  gallery,  was  not 
lost ;  and  the  Duke  of  Buckingham,  who  rode  immediately 
before  the  King  witn  General  Monk,  directed  Charles's 
attention  to  Mistress  Rebecca,  saying,  "Your  Majesty's 
retimi  is  here  welcomed  even  by  a  subject  as  yet  unborn." 
As  the  procession  passed  by  the  door  of  the  King's  Head 
Tavern,  the  King  turned  towards  it,  raised  himself  in  his 
stirrups,  and  gracefully  kissed  his  hand  to  Mistress  Rebecca. 
Immediately  such  a  shout  was  raised  from  all  who  beheld  it 
or  heard  of  it,  as  startled  the  crowd  up  to  Cheapside  con- 
duit; and  threw  the  poor  woman  herself  into  such  an 
ecstasy,  that  she  was  not  conscious  of  anything  more,  until 
she  was  safe  in  her  chamber  and  all  danger  happily  over.* 

The  Tavern  was  rebuilt  after  the  Great  Fire,  and  flourished 
many  years.  It  was  long  a  depot  in  the  metropolis  for  turtle; 
and  in  the  quadrangle  of  the  Tavern  might  be  seen  scores  of 
turtle,  large  and  lively,  in  huge  tanks  of  water ;  or  laid  up- 
ward on  the  stone  floor,  ready  for  their  destination.  The 
Tavern  was  also  noted  for  large  dinners  of  the  City  Com- 
panies and  other  public  bodies.  The  house  was  refitted  in 
1852,  but  has  since  been  closed. 

Another  noted  Poultry  Tavern  was  the  Three  Cranes, 
destroyed  in  the  Great  Fire,  but  rebuilt,  and  noticed  in  1698, 
in  one  of  the  many  paper  controversies  of  that  day.  A  ful- 
minating pamphlet,  entitled  "Ecclesia  etFactio:  a  Dialogue 
between  Bow  Church  Steeple  and  the  Exchange  Grass- 
hopper," elicited  "  An  Answer  to  the  Dragon  and  Grass- 
hopper: in  a  Dialogue  between  an  Old  Monkey  and  a 
Yoimg  Weasel,  at  the  Three  Cranes  Tavern,  in  the  Poultry." 

The  Mitre,  in  Wood- street. 

Was  a  noted  old  Tavern.     Pepys,  in  his  "  Diary,"  Sept  18, 
1660.  records  his  going  "to  the  Mitre  Tavern,  in  Wood- 

*  Abridged  from  an  Account  of  the  Tavern,  by  an  Antiquary. 


THE  SALUTA TION  AND  CA T  TA  VERN.  389 

street,  (a  house  of  the  greatest  note  in  London,)  where  I 
met  W.  Symons,  D.  Scoball,  and  their  wives.  Here  some  of 
us  fell  to  handicap,  a  sport  I  never  knew  before,  which  was 
very  good."     The  tavern  was  destroyed  in  the  Great  Fire. 

The  Salutation  and  Cat  Tavern, 

No.  17,  Newgate-street  (north  side),  was,  according  to  the 
tradition  of  the  house,  the  tavern  where  Sir  Christopher 
Wren  used  to  smoke  his  pipe,  whilst  St.  Paul's  was  re- 
building. There  is  more  positive  evidence  of  its  being  a 
place  well  frequented  by  men  of  letters  at  the  above  period. 
Thus,  there  exists  a  poetical  invitation  to  a  social  feast  held 
here  on  June  19,  1735-6,  issued  by  the  two  stewards, 
Edward  Cave  and  William  Bowyer : 

Saturday,  Jan.  17,  1735-6. 
Sir, 

You're  desir'd  on  Monday  next  to  meet 
At  Salutation  Tavern,  Newgate-street. 
Supper  will  be  on  table  just  at  eight, 
\Stewards\  One  of  St.  John's  [Bowyer],  'tother  of  St.  John's 
Gate  [Cave]. 

This  brought  a  poetical  answer  from  Samuel  Richardson 
the  novelist,  printed  in  extenso  in  Bowyer's  "  Anecdotes  :" 

For  me,  I'm  much  concerned  I  cannot  meet 
"At  Salutation  Tavern,  Newgate-street," 
Your  notice,  like  your  verse,  so  sweet  and  short  I 
If  longer,  I'd  sincerely  thank  you  for  it. 
Howe'er,  receive  my  wishes,  sons  of  verse  ! 
May  every  man  who  meets,  your  praise  rehearse  ! 
May  mirth,  as  plenty,  crown  your  cheerful  board. 
And  e'vry  one  part  happy — as  a  lord  ! 
That  when  at  home  (by  such  sweet  verses  fir'd). 
Your  families  may  think  you  all  inspir'd. 
So  wishes  he,  who  pre-engag'  d,  can't  know 
The  pleasures  that  would  from  your  meeting  flow. 

The  proper  sign  is  the  Salutation  and  Cat, — a  curious 
combination,  but  one  which  is  explained  by  a  lithograph 


390  CLUB  LIFE  OF, LONDON. 

which  some  years  ago  hung  in  the  coffee-room.  An  aged 
dandy  is  saluting  a  friend  whom  he  has  met  in  the  street, 
and  offering  him  a  pinch  out  of  the  snuff-box  which  forms 
the  top  of  his  wood-hke  cane.  This  box-nob  was,  it  appears, 
called  a  "  cat " — hence  the  connexion  of  terms  apparently 
so  foreign  to  each  other.  Some,  not  aware  of  this  explana- 
tion, have  accounted  for  the  sign  by  supposing  that  a  tavern 
called  "  the  Cat "  was  at  some  time  pulled  down,  and  its 
trade  carried  to  the  Salutation,  which  thenceforward  joined 
the  sign  to  its  own  ;  but  this  is  improbable,  seeing  that  we 
have  never  heard  of  any  tavern  called  "  the  Cat "  (although 
we  i/i7  know  of  "the  Barking  Dogs ")  as  a  sign.  Neither 
does  the  Salutation  take  its  name  from  any  scriptural  or 
sacred  source,  as  the  Angel  and  Trumpets,  etc. 

More  positive  evidence  there  is  to  show  of  the  "little 
smoky  room  at  the  Salutation  and  Cat,"  where  Coleridge  and 
Charles  Lamb  sat  smoking  Oronoko  and  drinking  egg-hot; 
the  first  discoursing  of  his.  idol,  Bowles,  and  the  other  re- 
joicing mildly  in  Cowper  and  Burns,  or  both  dreaming  of 
"  Pantisocracy,  and  golden  days  to  come  on  earth." 

"  Salutation  "  Taverns. 

The  sign  Salutation,  from  scriptural  or  sacred  source, 
remains  to  be  explained.  Mr.  Akerman  suspects  the  original 
sign  to  have  really  represented  the  Salutation  of  the  Virgin 
by  the  TVngel — "  Ave  Maria,  gratia  plena  " — a  well-known 
legend  on  the  jettons  of  the  Middle  Ages.  The  change  of 
representation  was  properly  accommodated  to  the  times. 
The  taverns  at  that  period  were  the  "  gossiping  shops "  of 
the  neighbourhood ;  and  both  Puritan  and  Churchman  fre- 
quented them  for  the  sake  of  hearing  the  news.  The  Puritans 
loved  the  good  things  of  this  world,  and  relished  a  cup  of 
Canary,  or  Noll's  nose  lied,  holding  the  maxim — 

Though  the  devil  trepan 
The  Adamical  man, 

The  saint  'stands  uninfected. 


QUEEN'S  ARMS,  ST.  PAUL'S  CHURCHYARD.       391 

Hence,  perhaps,  the  Salutation  of  the  Virgin  was  ex- 
changed for  the  "booin'  and  scrapin'"-  scene  (two  men  bowing 
and  greeting),  represented  on  a  token  which  still  exists ;  the 
tavern  was  celebrated  in  the  days  of  Queen  Elizabeth.  In 
some  old  black-letter  doggrel,  entitled  "News  from  Bar- 
tholemew  Fayre,"  it  is  mentioned  for  wine  : — 

There  hath  been  great  sale  and  utterance'  of  wine, 

Besides  beere,  and  ale,  and  Ipocras  fine ; 

In  every  country,  region,  and  nation. 

But  chiefly  in  fiilhngsgate,  at  the  Salutation. 

The  Flower-pot  was  originally  part  of  the  symbol  of  the 
Annunciation  to  the  Virgin. 

Queen's  Arms,  St.  Paul's  Churchyard. 

Garrick  appears  to  have  kept  up  his  interest  in  the  city  by 
means  of  clubs,  to  which  he  paid  periodicar  visits.  We  have 
'already  mentioned  the  club  of  young  merchants,  at  Tom's 
Coffee-house,  in  Coirrihill.  'Another  Club  was  held  at  the 
Queen's  Arms  Tavern,  in  St.  Paul's  Churchyard,  where  used 
to  assemble  :  Mr.  Samuel  Sharpe,  the  surgeon  ;  Mr.  Pater- 
son,  the  City-  solicitor ;  Mr.  Draper,  the  bookseller ;  Mr. 
Clutterbuck,  the  mercer  j  and  a  few  others. 

Sir  John  Hawkins  tells  us  that  "  they  were  none  of  them 
drinkers,  and  in  order  to  make  a  reckoning,  called  only  for 
French  wine."  These  were  Garrick's  standing  council  in 
theatrical  affairs. 

At  the  Queen's  Arms,  after  a  thirty  years'  intei-val,  Johnson 
renewed  his  intimacy  with  some  of  the  members  of  his  old 
Ivy-lane  Club. 

Brasbridge,  the  old  silversmith  of  Fleet-street,  was  a 
member  of  the  Sixpenny  Card-Club  held  at  the  Queen's 
Arms  :  among  the  members  was  Henry  Baldwyn,  who, 
under  the  auspices  of  Bonnel  Thornton,  Colman  the 
elder,  and  Garrick,  set  up  the  Si.  James's  Chronicle,  which 
once  had  the  largest  circulation  of  any  evening  paper.    This 


392  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

worthy  newspaper-proprietor  was  considerate  and  generous 
to  men  of  genius  :  "  Often,"  says  Brasbridge,  "  at  his  hospi- 
table board  I  have  seen  needy  authors,  and  others  con- 
nected with  his  employment,  whose  abilities,  ill-requited  as 
they  might  have  been  by  the  world  in  general,  were  by  him 
always  appreciated."  Among  Brasbridge's  acquaintance, 
also,  were  John  Walker,  shopman  to  a  grocer  and  chandler 
in  Well-street,  Ragfair,  who  died  worth  200,000/.,  most 
assuredly  not  gained  by  lending  money  on  doubtful  security ; 
and  Ben  Kenton,  brought  up  at  a  charity-school,  and  who 
realised  300,000/.,  partly  at  the  Magpie  and  Crown  in 
Whitechapel. 

Dolly's,  Paternoster  Row. 

This  noted  Tavern,  established  in  the  reign  of  Queen 
Anne,  has  for  its  sign,  the  cook  Dolly,  who  is  stated  to 
have  been  painted  by  Gainsborough.  It  is  still  a  well- 
appointed  chop-house  and  tavern,  and  the  coffee-room  with 
its  projecting  fire-places,  has  an  olden  air.  Nearly  on  the  site 
of  Dolly's,  Tarlton,  Queen  Elizabeth's  favourite  stage-clown, 
kept  an  ordinary,  with  the  sign  of  the  Castle.  The  house, 
of  which  a  token  exists,  was  destroyed  in  the  Great  Fire,  but 
was  rebuilt ;  there  the  "  Castle  Society  of  Music  "  gave  their 
performances.  Part  of  the  old  premises  were  subsequently 
the  Oxford  Bible  Warehouse,  destroyed  by  fire  in  1822,  and 
rebuilt. 

The  entrance  to  the  chop-house  is  in  Queen's  Head 
passage ;  and  at  Dolly's  is  a  window-pane  painted  with  the 
head  of  Queen  Anne,  which  may  explain  the  name  of  the 
court. 

At  Dolly's  and  Horsman's  beef-steaks  were  eaten  with 
gill-ale. 


393 


Aldersgate  Taverns. 

Two  early  houses  of  entertainment  in  Aldersgate  were  the 
Taborer's  Inn  and  the  Crown.  Of  the  former,  stated  to 
have  been  of  the  time  of  Edward  II.,  we  know  nothing  but 
the  name.  The  Crown,  more  recent,  stood  at  the  end  of 
Duck-lane,  and  is  described  in  Ward's  "  London  Spy,"  as 
containing  a  noble  room,  painted  by  Fuller,  with  the  Muses, 
the  Judgment  of  Paris,  the  contention  of  Ajax  and  Ulysses, 
etc.  "We  were  conducted  by  the  jolly  master,''  says  Ward, 
"  a  true  kinsman  of  the  bacchanalian  family,  into  a  large 
stately  room,  where,  at  the  first  entrance,  I  discerned  the 
master-strokes  of  the  famed  Fuller's  pencil ;  the  whole  room 
painted  by  that  commanding  hand,  that  his  dead  figures 
appeared  with  such  lively  majesty  that  they  begat  reverence 
in  the  spectators  towards  the  awful  shadows.  We  accord- 
ingly bade  the  complaisant  waiter  oblige  us  with  a  quart  of 
his  richest  claret,  such  as  was  fit  only  to  be  drank  in  the 
presence  of  such  heroes,  into  whose  company  he  had  done 
us  the  honour  to  introduce  us.  He  thereupon  gave  direc- 
tions to  his  drawer,  who  returned  Avith  a  quart  of  such 
inspiring  juice,  that  we  thought  ourselves  translated  into  one 
of  the  houses  of  the  heavens,  and  were  there  drinking 
immortal  nectar  with  the  gods  and  goddesses  : 

Who  could  such  blessings  when  thus  found  resign  ? 

An  honest  vintner  faithful  to  the  vine  ; 

A  spacious  room,  good  paintings,  and  good  wine. 

Far  more  celebrated  was  the  Mourning  Bush  Tavern,  in 
the  cellars  of  which  have  been  traced  the  massive  founda 
tions  of  Aldersgate,  and  the  portion  of  the  City  Wall  which 
adjoins  them.  This  tavern,  one  of  the  largest  and  most 
ancient  in  London,  has  a  curious  history. 

The  Bush  Tavern,  its  original  name,  took  for  its  sign  the 


394  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

Ivy-hush  hung  up  at  the  door.  It  is  believed  to  have  been 
the  house  referred  to  by  ,Stowe,  as  follows  :—  "This  gate 
(Aldersgate)  hath  been  at  sundry  times  increased  with  build- 
ing ;  namely,  on  the  south  Or  inner  side,  a  great  frame  of 
timber,  (or  house  of  wood  lathed  and  plastered,)  hath 
been  added  and  set  up  containing  divers  large  rooms 
and  lodgings,"  which  were  an  enlargement  of  the  Bush. 
Fosbroke  mentions  the  Bush  as  the  chief  sign  of  taverns  in 
the  Middle  AgeSj  (it  being  ready  to  hand,)  and  so  it  con- 
tinued until  superseded  by  "a  thing  to  resemble  one 
containing  three  or  four  tiers  of  hoops  fastened  one  above 
another  with  vine  leaves  and  grapes  richly  carved  and  gilt." 
He  adds  :  "  the  owner  of  the  Mourning  Bush,  Aldersgate, 
was  so  affected  at  the  decollation  of  Charles  I,,  that  he 
painted  his  bush  black."  From  this  period  the  house  is 
scarcely  mentioned  until  the  year  1719,  when-  we  find  ifs 
name  changed  to  the  Fountain,  whether  from  political  feel- 
ing against  the  then  exiled  House  of  Stuart,  or  the  whim  of 
the  proprietor  we  cannot  learn ;  though  it  is  thought  to  have 
reference  to  a  spring  on  the  east  side  of  the  gate.  Tom 
Brown  mentions  the  Fountain  satirically,  with  four  or  five 
topping  taverns  of  the  day,  whose  landlords  are  charged 
with  doctoring  their  wines,  but  whose  trade  was  so  great 
that  they  stood  fair  for  the  Alderman's  gown.  And,  in  a 
letter  from  an  old  vintner  in  the  city  to  one  newly  set  up  in 
Covent  Garden,  we  find  the  following  in  the  way  of  advice  : 
"  as  all  the  world  are  wholly  supported  by  hard  and  unintel- 
ligible names,  you  must  take  care  to  christen  your  wines  by 
some  hard  name,  the  further  fetched  so  much  the  better,  and 
this  policy  will  serve  to  recommend  the  most  execrable 
scum  in  your  cellar.  I  could  name  several  of  our  brethren 
to  you,  who  now  stand  fair  to  sit  in  the  seat  of  justice,  and 
sleep  in  their  golden  chain  at  churches,  that  had  been  for^  ed 
to  knock  off  long  ago,  if  it  had  not  been  for  this  artifice.  It 
saved  the  Sun  from  being  eclipsed ;  the  Crown  from  being 
abdicated;   the  Rose  from   decaying;    and   the   Fountain 


JERUSALEM  TAVERNS,  CLERKENWELL.  395 

from  being  dry;   as  well  as  both  the  Devils  from  being 
confined  to  utter  darkness." 

Twenty  years  later,  in  a  large  plan  of  Aldersgate  Ward, 
1739-40,  we  find  the  Fountain  changed  to  the  original  Bush. 
The  Fire  of  London  had  evidently,  at  this  time,  curtailed 
the  ancient  extent  of  the  tavern.  The  exterior  is  shown  in  a 
print  of  the  south  side  of  Aldersgate  ;  it  has  the  character  of 
the  larger  houses,  built  after  the  Great  Fire,  and  immediately 
adjoins  the  gate.  The  last  notice  of  the  Bush,  as  a  place  of 
entertainment,  occurs  in  Maitland's  "  History  of  London," 
ed.  172s,  where  it  is  described  as  "  the  Fountain,  commonly 
called  the  Mourning  Bush,  which  has  a  back-door  into  St. 
Anne's-lane,  and  is  situated  near  unto  Aldersgate."  The 
house  was  refitted  in  1830.  In  the  basement  are  the 
original  wine-vaults  of  the  old  Bush ;  many  of  the  walls  are 
six  feet  thick,  and  bonded  throughout  with  Roman  brick. 
A  very  agreeable  account  of  the  tavern  and  the  antiquities 
of  neighbourhood  was  published  in  1830. 

"  The  Mourning  Crown." 

In  Phoenix  Alley,  (now  Hanover  Court,)  Long  Acre,  John 
Taylor,  the  Water  Poet,  kept  a  tavern,  with  the  sign  of 
"  the  Mourning  Crown,"  but  this  being  offensive  to  the 
Commonwealth  (1652),  he  substituted  for  a  sign  his  own 
head  with  this  inscription — 

There's  inany  a  head  stands  for  a  sign  ; 
Then,  gentle  reader,  why  not  mine  ? 

He  died  here  in  the  following  year ;  and  his  widow  in 
1658. 

Jerusalem  Taverns,  Clerkenwell. 

These  houses  took  their  name  from  the  Knights  of  St. 
John  of  Jerusalem,  around  whose  Priory  grew  up  the  village 
of  Clerkenwell.     The   Priory  Gate  remains.     At  the  Sup- 


396  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

pression,  the  Priory  was  undermined,  and  blown  up  with 
gunpowder;  the  Gate  also  would  probably  have  been 
destroyed,  but  for  its  serving  to  define  the  property.  In 
1604,  it  was  granted  to  Sir  Roger  Wilbraham  for  his  life. 
At  this  time  Clerkenwell  was  inhabited  by  people  of  con- 
dition. Forty  years  later,  fashion  had  travelled  westward : 
and  the  Gate  became  the  printing-office  of  Edward  Cave, 
who,  in  1 73 1,  published  here  the  first  number  of  the 
Gentleman's  Magazine,  which  to  this  day  bears  the  Gate  for 
its  vignette.  Dr.  Johnson  was  first  engaged  upon  the 
magazine  here  by  Cave  in  1737.  At  the  Gate  Johnson  first 
met  Richard  Savage  ;  and  here  in  Cave's  room,  when  visitors 
called,  he  ate  his  plate  of  victuals  behind  the  screen,  his 
dress  being  "  so  shabby  that  he  durst  not  make  his  appear- 
ance." Garrick,  when  first  he  came  to  London,  frequently 
called  upon  Johnson  at  the  Gate.  Goldsmith  was  also  a 
visitor  here.  When  Cave  grew  rich,  he  had  St  John's  Gate 
painted,  instead  of  his  arms,  on  his  carriage,  and  engraven 
on  his  plate.  After  Cave's  death  in  1753,  the  premises 
became  the  "  Jerusalem  "  public-house,  and  the  "  Jerusalem 
Tavern." 

There  was  likewise  another  Jerusalem  Tavern,  at  the 
comer  of  Red  Lion-street  on  Clerkenwell-green,  which  was 
the  original  St.  John's  Gate  public-house,  having  assumed 
the  name  of  "  Jerusalem  Tavern "  in  consequence  of  the 
old  house  on  the  Green  giving  up  the  tavern  business,  and 
becoming  the  "  merchants'  house."  In  its  dank  and  cob- 
webbed  vaults  John  Britton  served  an  apprenticeship  to  a 
wine-merchant ;  and  in  reading  at  intervals  by  candle-light, 
first  evinced  that  love  of  literature  which  characterized  his 
long  life  of  industry  and  integrity.  He  remembered  Clerken- 
well in  1787,  with  St.  John's  Priory-church  and  cloisters ; 
when  Spafields  were  pasturage  for  cows ;  the  old  garden- 
mansions  of  the  aristocracy  remained  in  Clerkenwell-close ; 
and  Sadler's  Wells,  Islington  Spa,  Merhn's  Cave,  and  Bag- 
Jiigge  Wells,  were  nightly  crowded  with  gay  company. 


WHITE  HART  TAVERN,  BISHOPSGATE  WITHOUT.  397 

In  a  friendly  note,  Sept  11,  1832,  Mr.  Britton  tells  us  : 
"  Our  house  sold  wines  in  full  quarts,  i.e.  twelve  held  three 
gallons,  wine  measure;  and  each  bottle  was  marked  with 
four  lines  cut  by  a  diamond  on  the  neck.  Our  wines  were 
famed,  and  the  character  of  the  house  was  high,  whence  the 
Gate  imitated  the  bottles  and  name." 

In  1845,  t>y  the  aid  of  "the  Freemasons  of  the  Church," 
and  Mr.  W.  P.  Griffith,  architect,  the  north  and  south  fronts 
were  restored.  The  gateway  is  a  good  specimen  of  groining 
of  the  15th  century,  with  moulded  ribs,  and  bosses  orna- 
mented with  shields  of  the  arms  of  the  Priory,  Prior  Docwra, 
etc.  The  east  basement  is  the  tavern  bar,  with  a  beautifully 
moulded  ceiling.  The  stairs  are  Elizabethan.  The  prin- 
cipal room  over  the  arch  has  been  despoiled  of  its  window- 
mullions  and  groined  roof.  The  foundation-wall  of  the 
Gate  face  is  10  feet  7  inches  thick,  and  the  upper  walls  are 
nearly. 4  feet,  hard  red  brick.  Stone-cased:  the  view  from  the 
top  of  the  staircase-turret  is  extensive.  In  excavating  there 
have  been  discovered  the  original  pavement,  three  feet 
below,  the  Gate ;  and  the  Priory  walls,  north,  south,  and 
west.  In  185 1,  there  was  published,  by  B.  Foster,  pro- 
prietor of  the  Tavern,  "  Ye  History  of  ye  Priory  and  Gate 
of  St  John."  In  the  principal  room  of  the  Gate,  over  the 
great  arch,  met  the  Urban  Club,  a  society,  chiefly  of  authors 
and  artists,  with  whom  originated  the  proposition  to  cele- 
brate the  tercentenary  of  the  birth  of  Shakspeare,  in  1864. 

White  Hart  Tavern,  Bishopsgate  Without. 

About  forty  years  since  there  stood  at  a  short  distance 
north  of  St.  Botolph's  Church,  a  large  old  hostelrie,  accordmg 
to  the  date  it  bore  (1480,)  towards  the  close  of  the  reign  of 
Edward  IV.  Stow,  in  1598,  describes  it  as  "a  fair  inn  for 
receipt  of  travellers,  next  unto  the  Parish  Church  of  St 
Botolph  without  Bishopsgate."  It  preserved  much  of  its 
original  appearance,  the  main  front  consisting  of  three  bays 


398  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

of  two  Storeys,  whicli,  with  the  interspaces,  had  throughout 
casements  ;  and  above  which  was  an  overhanging  storey  or 
attic,  and  the  roof  rising  in  three  points.  Still,  this  was  not 
the  original  front,  which  was  altered  in  1787  :  upon  the  old 
inn  yard  was  built  White  Hart  Court.  In  1829;  the  tavern 
was  taken  down,  and  rebuilt,  in  handsome ' modem  style; 
when  the  entrance  into  Old  Bedlam,  and  formerly  called 
Bedlam  Gate,  was  widened,  and  the  street  re-named  Liver- 
pool-street.' A  iithographof  the  old  tavern  was  pubhshed 
in  1829. 

Somewhat  lower  down  is  the  residence  of  Sir  Paul  Pindar, 
now  wine-vaults,  with  the  sign  of'  Paul  Pindar's  Head, 
corner  of  Half-moon-alley,  No.  160,  Bishopsgate-street  With- 
out. Sir  Paul  was  a  wealthy  merchant,  contemporary  with 
Sir  Thomas  Gresham.  The  house  was  built  towards  the 
end  of  the  i6th  century,  with'  a  wood-framed  front  and 
caryatid  brackets ;  and  the  principal  windows  bayed,  their 
lower  fronts  enriched  with  panels  of  carved  work.  In  the 
first-floor  front  room  is  a  fine  original  ceiling  in  stucco,  in 
which  are  the  arms  of  Sir  Paul  Pindar.  In  the  rear  of  these 
premises,  within  a  garden,  was  formerly  a  lodge,  of  cor- 
responding date,  decorated  with  four  medallions,  containing 
figures  in  Italian  taste.  In  Half-moon-alley  was  the  Half- 
moon  Brewhbiise,  of  which  there  is  a  token  in  the  Beaufoy: 
Collection. 

The  Mitre,  in  Fenchurch-street, 

Was  one  of  the  political  taverns  of  the  Civil  War,  and  was 
kept  by  Daniel  Rawlinson,  who  appears  to  have  been  a 
staunch  royalist:  his  token  is  preserved  in  the  Beaufoy  Col- 
lection. Dr.  Richard  Rawlinson,  whose  Jacobite  principles 
are  sufficiently  on  record,  in  a  letter  to  Hearne;  the  honjuring 
antiquary  at  Oxford,  says  of  "  Daniel  Rawlinson,  who.kept 
th6  Mitre  Tavern  in  Fenchurch-street,  and-of  whose  being 
suspected  in  the  Rump  time,  I  have  heard  mtich.     The 


THE  MITRE,  IN  FENCHURCH  STREET.  399 

Whigs  tell  this,  that  upon  the  King's  murder,  January  3oth> 
1649,  he  hung  his  sign  in  mourning:  he  certainly  j  udged 
right ;  the  honour  of  the  mitre  was  much  eclipsed  by  the 
loss  of  so  good  a  parent  to  the  Church  of  Eagland ;  these 
rogues  [the  Whigs]  say,  this  endeared  him  so  much  to  the 
Churchmen,  that  he  strove  amain,  and  got  a  good  estate." 

Pepys,  who  expressed  great  personal .  fear  of  1  the  Plague, 
in  his  Diary,  August  6,  1666,  notices  that  notwithstanding 
Dan  RowlaHdson!s  being,  all  last  year  in  the  country,  the 
sickness  in  a  great  measure  past,  one  of  his  men  was  then 
dead  at  the  Mitre  of  the  pestilence ;  his.  wife  and  one  of  his 
maids  both  sick,  and  himself  shut  up,  which,  says  Pepys, 
"  troubles  me.  mightily.     Godpreserve  us  !" 

Rawlinson's  tavern,  the  Mitre,  appears  to  have  been 
destroyed  in  the  Great  Fire,  and  immediately  after  rebuilt ; 
as  Horace  Walpole,.  from  Vertue's  notes,  states  that  "  Isaac 
Fuller  was  much  employed  to  paint  the  great  taverns  in 
London  ;  particularly  the  Mitre,  in  Fenchurch-street,  where 
he  adorned  all  the  sides  of  a  great  room,  in  panels,  as  was 
then  the  fashion ;"  "  the  figures  being  as  large  as  life;  over 
the  chimney,  a  Venus,  Satyr,  and  sleeping  Cupid ;  a  boy 
riding  a  goat,  and  a,nother  fallen  down  :"  this  was,  he  adds, 
"  the  best  part  of  the  performance.  Saturn  devouring  a 
child,  the  colouring  raw  aijd^the  figure, of  Saturn  too  mus- 
cular ;  Mercury,  Minerva,  ■  Diana,  and  Apollo  ;  BacchuSr 
Venus,  and  Ceres,  embracing;  a  young  Selinus  fallen  down, 
and  hpl4ing:  a  goblet  into  which  a  boy  was  pouring  wine. 
The  Seasons  between  the  windows,  and  on  the  ceiling,  in  a 
large  circle,  two  angels  supporting  a  mitre."  ; 

Yet,  Fuller  was  a  wretched  painter,  as  borne  out  by 
Elsum's,"  Epigram  on  a  Drunken  Sot :" — 

J  His  head  does  on  his  shoulder  lean,  '  ' 

His  eyes  are  sunk,  and  hardly  seen  :  .    , 

Who  sees  this  sot  in  his  own  colour, 
Is  apt  to  say,  'twas  done  by  Fuller.  :.,,,,,• 

Burn's  Beaufoy  CafalogM, ' 


4CO 


The  King's  Head,  Fenchurch-street. 

No.  53  is  a  place  of  historic  interest ;  for,  the  Princess 
Elizabeth,  having  attended  service  at  the  church  of  All- 
hallows  Staining,  in  Langboum  Ward,  on  her  release  from 
the  Tower,  on  the  19th  of  May,  1554,  dined  off  pork  and 
peas  afterwards,  at  the  King's  Head  in  Fenchurch  Street, 
where  the  metal  dish  and  cover  she  is  said  to  have  used  are 
still  preserved.  The  Tavern  has  been  of  late  years  enlarged 
and  embellished,  in  taste  accordant  with  its  historical  associa- 
tion ;  the  ancient  character  of  the  building  being  preserved 
in  the  smoking-room,  60  feet  in  length,  upon  the  walls  of 
which  are  displayed  corslets,  shields,  helmets,  and  knightly 
arms. 

The  Elephant,  Fenchurch  Street. 

In  the  year  1826  was  taken  down  the  old  Elephant 
Tavern,  which  was  built  before  the  Great  Fire,  and  narrowly 
escaped  its  ravages.  It  stood  on  the  north  side  of  Fen- 
church-street, and  was  originally  the  Elephant  and  Castle. 
Previous  to  the  demolition  of  the  premises  there  were 
removed  from  the  wall  two  pictures,  which  Hogarth  is  said 
to  have  painted  while  a  lodger  there.  About  this  time  a 
parochial  entertainment  which  had  hitherto  been  given  at 
the  Elephant,  was  removed  to  the  King's  Head  (Henry 
VIII.)  Tavern  nearly  opposite.  At  this  Hogarth  was 
annoyed,  and  he  went  over  to  the  King's  Head,  when  an 
altercation  ensued,  and  he  left,  threatening  to  stick  them  all 
up  on  the  Elephant  tap-room ;  this  he  is  said  to  have  done, 
and  on  the  opposite  wall  subsequently  painted  the  Hudson's 
Bay  Company's  Porters  going  to  dinner,  representing  Fen- 
church-street a  century  and  a  half  ago.  The  first  picture 
was  set  down  as  Hogarth's  first  idea  of  his  Modem  Midnight 
Conversation,  in  which  he  is  supposed  to  have  represented 
the  parochial  party  at  the  King's  Head,  though  it  differs 


Old  Queen's  Head,  Lower  Road,  Islington. 
{Pulled  dotun  1820.) 


George  and  Blue  Boar,  Holborn.     ( The  Courtyard. 


THE  AFRICAN,  ST.  MICHAEL'S  ALLEY.  401 

from  Hogarth's  print.  There  was  a  third  picture,  Harlequin 
and  Pierrot,  and  on  the  wall  of  the  Elephant  first-floor  was 
found  a  picture  of  Harlow  Bush  Fair,  coated  over  with 
paint. 

Only  two  of  the  pictures  were  claimed  as  Hogarth's.  The 
Elephant  has  been  engraved ;  and  at  the  foot  of  the  print, 
the  information  as  to  Hogarth  having  executed  these  paint- 
ings is  rested  upon  the  evidence  of  Mrs.  Hibbert,  who  kept 
the  house  between  thirty  and  forty  years,  and  received  her 
information  from  persons  at  that  time  well  acquainted  with 
Hogarth.  Still,  his  biographers  do  not  record  his  abode  in 
Fenchurch-street.     The  Tavern  has  been  rebuilt. 

The  African,  St.  Michael's  Alley. 

Another  of  the  Cornhill  taverns,  the  African,  or  Cole's 
GofTee-house,  is  memorable  as  the  last  place  at  which 
Professor  Person  appeared.  He  had,  in  some  measure, 
recovered  from  the  effects  of  the  fit  in  which  he  had  fallen 
on  the  19th  of  September,  1808,  when  he  was  brought  in  a 
hackney-coach  to  the  London  Institution  in  the  Old  Jewry. 
Next  morning  he  had  a  long  discussion  with  Dr.  Adam 
Clarke,  who  took  leave  of  him  at  its  close ;  and  this  was  the 
last  conversation  Porson  was  ever  capable  of  holding  on 
any  subject 

Porson  is  thought  to  have  fancied  himself  under  restraint, 
and  to  convince  himself  of  the  contrary,  next  morning,  the 
20th,  he  walked  out,  and  soon  after  went  to  the  African,  in 
St.  Michael's  Alley,  which  was  one  of  his  City  resorts.  On 
entering  the  coffee-room,  he  was  so  exhausted  that  he  must 
have  fallen  had  he  not  cailght  hold  of  the  curtain-rod  of  one 
of  the  boxes,  when  he  was  recognised  by  Mr.  J.  P.  Leigh,  a 
gentleman  with  whom  he  had  frequently  dined  at  the  house. 
A  chair  was  given  him ;  he  sat  down,  and  stared  around 
with  a  vacant  and  ghastly  countenance,  and  he  evidently 
did  not  recollect  Mr.  Leigh.      He  took  a  little  wine,  which 

D   D 


402  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

revived  him,  but  jpreviously  to  this  his  head  lay  upon  his 
breast,  and  he  was  continually  rnuttering  something,  but  in 
so  low  and  indistinct  a  tone  as  scarcely  to  be  audible.  He 
then  took  a  little  jelly  dissolved  in  warm  brandy-and-water, 
which  considerably  roused  him.  Still  he  could  make  no 
answer  to  questions  addressed  to  him,  except  these  words, 
which  he  repeated,  probably,  twenty  times  : — "  The  gentle- 
man said  it  was  a  lucrative  piece  of  business,  and  /  think 
so  too," — but  in  a  very  low  tone.  A  coach  was  now 
brought  to  take  him  to  the  London  Institution,  and  he  was 
helped  in,  and  accompanied  by  the  waiter ;  he  appeared 
quite  senseless  all  the  way,  and  did  not  utter  a  word  ;  and 
in  reply  to  the  question  where  they  should  stop,  he  put  his 
head  out  of  the  window,  and  waved  his  hand  when  they 
came  opposite  the  door  of  the  Institution.  Upon  this  Dr. 
Clarke  touchingly  observes :  "  How  quick  the  transition 
from  the  highest  degree  of  intellect  to  the  lowest  apprehen- 
sions of  sense  !  On  what  a  precarious  tenure  does  frail 
humanity  hold  even  its  choicest  and  most  necessary  gifts." 

Porson. expired  on  the  night  of  Sunday,  September  20th, 
with  a  deep  groan,  exactly  as  the  clock  struck  twelve,  in  the 
forty-ninth  year  of  his  age. 

The  Grave  Maurice  Tavern. 

There  are  two  taverns  with  this  name, — in  St.  Leonard's- 
road  and  Whitechapel-road.  The  history  of  the  sign  is 
curious.  Many  years  ago  the  latter  house  had  a  written 
sign,  "  The  Grave  Morris,"  but  this  has  been  amended. 

But  the  original  was  the  famous  Prince  of  Orange,  Grave 
Maurice,  of  whom  we  read  in  Howel's  "  Familiar  Letters." 
In  Junius's  "  Etymologicon,"  Grave  is,  explained  to  be 
Comes,  or  Count,  as  Palsgrave  is  Palatine  Count;  of  which 
we  have  an  instance  in  Palsgrave  Count,  or  Elector  Pala- 
tine, who  married  Princess  Elizabeth,  daughter  of  James  I. 
Their  issue  were  the  Palsgrave   Charles   Louis,  the  Grave 


MATHEMATICAL  SOCIETY,  SPITALFIELDS.        403 

Count  or  Prince  Palatine  Rupert^  and  the  Grave  Count  or 
Prince  Maurice,  who  alike  distinguished  themselves  in  the 
Civil  Wars. 

The  two  princes,  Rupert  and  Maurice,  for  their  loyalty 
and  courage,  were,  after  the  Restoration,  very  popular; 
which  induced  the  author  of  the  "  Tavern  Anecdotes  "  to 
conjecture:  "As  we  have  an  idea  that  the  Mount  at 
Whitechapel  was  raised  to  overawe  the  City,  Maurice,  before 
he  proceeded  to  the  west,  might  have  the  command  of  the 
work  on  the  east  side  of  the  metropolis,  and  a  temporary 
residence  on  the  spot  where  his  sign  was  so  lately  exhibited." 
At  the  close,  of  the  troubles  of  the  reign,  the  two  princes 
retired.  In  1652,  they  were  endeavouring  to  annoy  the 
enemies  of  Charles  II.  in  the  West  Indies,  when  the  Grave 
Maurice  lost  his  life  in  a  hurricane. 

The  sign  of  the  Grave  Maurice  remained  against  the  house 
in  the  Whitechapel-road  till  the  year  1806,  when  it  was 
taken  down  to  be  repainted.  It  represented  a  soldier  in  a 
hat  and  feather,  and  blue  uniform.  The  tradition  of  the 
neighbourhood  is,  that  it  is  the  portrait  of  a  prince  of  Hesse, 
who  was  a  great  warrior,  but  of  so  inflexible  a  countenance, 
that  he  was  never  seen  to  smile  in  his  life ;  and  that  he  was, 
therefore,  most  properly  termed  grave. 

Mathematical  Society,  Spitalfields. 

It  is  curious  to  find  that  a  century  and  a  half  since,  science 
found  a  home  in  Spitalfields,  chiefly  among  the  middle  and 
working  classes ;  they  met  at  small  taverns  in  that  locality. 
It  appears  that  a  Mathematical  Society,  which  also  cultivated 
electricity,  was  established  in  1717,  and  met  at  the  Mon- 
mouth's Head  in  Monmouth-street,  until  1725,  when  they 
removed  to  the  White  Horse  Tavern,  in  Wheeler-street; 
from  thence,  in  1735,  to  Ben  Jonson's  Head  in  Pelham- 
street ;  and  next  to  Crispin-street,  Spitalfields.  The  mem- 
bers were  chiefly  tradesmen  and  artisans ;  among  those  of 

D  D  2 


404  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

"higher  rank  were  Canton',  Dollond,  Thomas  Simpson,  and 
Crossley.     The  Society  lent  their  instruments  (air-pumps, 
reflecting  telescopes,  reflecting  microscopes,   electrical  ma- 
chines, surveying  instruments,  etc.)  with  books  for  the  use  of 
them,  on  the  borrowers  giving  a  note  of  hand  for  the  value 
thereof.     The  number  of  members  was  not  to  exceed  the 
square  of  seven,    except   such  as   were  abroad  or  in  the 
country ;  but  this  was  increased  to  the  squares  of  eight  and 
nine.     The    members    met    on    Saturday   evenings :  each 
present   was    to    employ    himself  in    some    mathematical 
exercise,  or  forfeit  one  penny ;  and  if  he  refused  to  answer 
a  question  asked  by  another  in  mathematics,  he  was  to 
forfeit  twopence.    The  Society  long  cherished  a  taste  for 
exact  science  among  the  residents  in  the  neighbourhood  of 
Spitalfields,    and   accumulated   a   library    of   nearly    3000 
volumes ;  but  in  1845,  when  on  the  point  of  dissolution,  the 
few  remaining  members  made  over  their  books,  records,  and 
memorials  to  the  Royal  Astronomical  Society,  of  which  these 
members  were  elected  Fellows.*     This  amalgamation  was 
chiefly  negotiated  by  Captain,  afterwards  Admiral  Smyth. 

Globe  Tavern,  Fleet-street. 

In  the  last  century,  when  public  amusements  were  com- 
paratively few,  and  citizens  dwelt  in  town,  the  Globe  in 
Fleet-street  was  noted  for  its  little  clubs  and  card-parties. 
Here  was  held,  for  a  time,  the  Robin  Hood  Club,  a 
Wednesday  Club,  and  later,  Oliver  Goldsmith  and  his  friends 
often  finished  their  Shoemaker's  Holiday  by  supping  at  the 
Globe.  Among  the  company  was  a  surgeon,  who,  living  on 
the  Surrey  side  of  the  Thames  (Blackfriars  Bridge  was  not 
then  built),  had  to  take  a  boat  every  night,  at  ^s.  or  4J. 
expense,  and  the  risk  of  his  life ;  yet,  when  the  bridge  was 
built,  he  grumbled  at  having  a  penny  to  pay  for  crossing  it. 
Other  frequenters  of  the  Globe  were  Archibald  Hamilton, 


'  Curiosities  of  London,"  p.  678. 


THE  DEVIL  TAVERN.  405 

'^  with  a  mind  fit  for  a  lord  chancellor ;"  Carnan,  the  book- 
seller, who  defeated  the  Stationers'  Company  upon  the 
almanac  trial ;  Dunstall,  the  comedian ;  the  veteran  Macklin  ; 
Akerman,  the  keeper  of  Newgate,  who  always  thought  it 
most  prudent  not  to  venture  home  till  daylight ;  and  William 
Woodfall,  the  reporter  of  the  parliamentary  debates.  Then 
there  was  one  Glover,  a  surgeon,  who  restored  to  life  a  man 
who  had  been  hung  in  Dublin,  and  who  ever  after  was  a 
plague  to  his  deliverer.  Brasbridge,  the  silversmith  of  Fleet- 
street,  was  a  frequenter  of  the  Globe.  In  his  eightieth  year 
he  wrote  his  "  Fruits  of  Experience,"  full  of  pleasant  gossip 
about  the  minor  gaieties  of  St.  Bride's.  He  was  more  fond 
of  following  the  hounds  than  his  business,  and  failure  was 
the  ill  consequence  :  he  tells  of  a  sporting  party  of  four — 
that  he  and  his  partner  became  bankrupt ;  the  third,  Mr. 
Smith,  became  Lord  Mayor  j  and  the  fourth  fell  into  poverty, 
and  was  glad  to  accept  the  situation  of  patrol  before  the 
house  of  his  Lordship,  whose  associate  he  had  been  only  a 
few  years  before.  Smith  had  100,000/.  of  bad  debts  on  his 
books,  yet  died  worth  one-fourth  of  that  sum.  We  remember 
the  Globe,  a  handsomely-appointed  tavern,  some  forty-five 
years  since ;  but  it  has  long  ceased  to  be  a  tavern. 

The  Devil  Tavern. 

This  celebrated  Tavern  is  described  in  the  present  work, 
pp.  9-13,  as  the  meeting  place  of  the  Apollo  Club.  Its 
later  history  is  interesting. 

Mull  Sack,  alias  John  Cottington,  the  noted  highwayman, 
of  the  time  of  the  Commonwealth,  is  stated  to  have  been  a 
constant  visitor  at  the  Devil  Tavern.  In  the  garb  and 
character  of  a  man  of  fashion,  he  appears  to  have  levied 
contributions  on  the  public  as  a  pickpocket  and  highway- 
man, to  a  greater  extent  than  perhaps  any  other  individual 
of  his  fraternity  on  record.  He  not  only  had  the  honour  of 
picking  the  pocket  of  Oliver  Cromwell,  when  Lord  Protector, 


406  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

but  he  afterwards  robbed  King  Charles  II.,  then  hving  in 
exile  at  Cologne,  of  plate  valued  at  1500/.     Another  of  his 
feats  was  his  robbing  the  wife  of  the  Lord  General  Fairfax. 
"  This  lady,"  we  are  told,   "  used  to  go  to  a  lecture  on  a 
weekday,   to   Ludgate    Church,   where  one    Mr.    Jacomb 
preached,  being  much  followed  by   the  precisians.     Mull 
Sack,  obsei-ving  this, — and  that  she  constantly  wore  her  watch 
hanging  by  a  chain  from  her  waist, ^-against  the  next  time 
she  came  there,  dressed  himself  like  an  officer  in  the  army ; 
and  having  his  comrades  attending  him  like  troopers,  one 
of  them  takes  out  the  pin  of  a  coachwheel  that  was  going 
upwards  through  the  gate,  by  which  means,  it  falling  off,  the 
passage  was  obstructed  ;  so  that  the  lady  could  not  alight  at ' 
the  church-door,  but  was  forced  to  leave  her  coach  without. 
Mull  Sack,  taking  advantage  of  this,  readily  presented  him- 
self to  her  ladyship ;  and  having  the  impudence  to  take  her 
from  her  gentlemen  usher,  who  attended  her  alighting,  led 
her  by  the  arm  into  the  church  j  and  by  the  way,  with  a  pair 
of  keen  or  sharp  scissors  for  the  purpose,  cut  the  chain  in 
two,  and  got  the  watch  clear  away  :  she  not  missing  it  till 
sermon  was  done,  when  she  was  going  to  see  the  time  of  the 
day."    At  the  Devil  Tavern  Mull  Sack  could  mix  with  the 
best  society,  whom  he  probably  occasionally  relieved  of  their 
"watches  and  purses.     There  is  extant  a  very  rare  print  of 
him,   in   which  he   is  represented  partly  in  the  garb  of-a 
chimney-sweep,  his  original  avocation,  and  partly  in  the 
fashionable  costume  of  the  period.* 

In  the  Apollo  chamber,  at  the  Devil  Tavern',  were  re- 
hearsed, with  music,  the  Court-day  Odes  of  the  Poets 
Laureate  :  hence  Pope,  in  the  "  Dunciad  :" 

Back  to  the  Devil  the  loud  echoes  roll, 

And  "  Coll !"  each  butcher  roars  at  Hockley  Hole. 

The  following  epigram  on  the  Odes  rehearsals  is  by  a  wit 
of  those  times : 

*  Jesse's  "  London  and  its  Celebrities." 


THE  DEVIL  TAVERN.  407 

When  Laureates  make  Odes,  do  you  ask  of  what  sort  ? 

Do  you  ask  if  they're  good,,  or  are  evil  ? 
You  may  judge — ^from  the  Devil  they  come  to  the  Court, 

And  go  from  the  Court  to  the  Devil. 

St.  Dunstan's,  or  the  Devil  Tavern,  is  mentioned  as  a 
house  of  old  repute,  in  the  interlude,  Jacke  Jugeler,  1563, 
where  Jack,  having  persuaded  his  cousin  jenkin. 

As  foolish  a  knave  v^ithall, 
As  any  is  now,  within  London  wall, 

that  he  was  not  himself,  thrusts  him  from  his  master's  door, 
and  in  answer  to  Jenkin's  sorrowful  question-^where  his 
master  and  he  were  to  dwell,  replies, 

At  the  Devyll  yf  you  lust,  I  can  not  tell ! 

Ben  Johnson  being  one  night  at  the  Devil  Tavern,  a 
country  gentleman  in  the  company  was  obtrusively  loquacious 
touching  his  land  and  tenements :  Ben,  out  of  patience, 
exclaimed,  "  What  signifies  to  us  your  dirt  and  your  clods  ? 
Where  you  have  an  acre  of  land  I  have  ten  acres  of  wit !" 
"  Have  you  so,''  retorted  the  countryman,  "  good  Mr. 
Wise-acre  ?"  "  Why,  how  now,  Ben  ?"  said  one  of  the  party, 
"  you  seem  to  be  quite  stung  !"  "  I  was  never  so  pricked 
by  a  hobnail  before,"  grumbled  Ben. 

There  is  a  ludicrous  reference  to  this  old  place  in  a  song 
descnbing  the  visit  of  James  I.  to  St.  Paul's  Cathedral  on 
Sunday,  26th  of  March,  1620  : 

The  Maior  layd  downe  his  mace,  and  cry'd, 

"  God  save  your  Grace, 
And  keepe  our  King  from  all  evill  !" 
With  all  my  hart  I  then  viast,  the  good  mace 

had  been  in  my  fist. 
To  ha'  pawn'd  it  for  supper  at  the  Devill  I 

We  have  already  given  the  famous  Apollo  "  Welcome," 
but  not  immortal  Ben's  Rules,  which  have  been  thus  happily 
translated  by  Alexander  Brome,  one  of  the  wits  who  fre- 


4o8  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

quented  the  Devil,  and  who  left  "Poems  and  Songs,"  1661: 
he  was  an  attorney  in  the  Lord  Mayor's  Court : 

Bin  yo!' son's  Sociable  Rules  for  the  Apollo. 

Let  none  but  guests,  or  clubbers,  hither  come. 
Let  dunces,  fools,  sad  sordid  men  keep  home. 
Let  learned,  civil,  merry  men,  b'  invited, 
And  modest  too  ;  nor  be  choice  ladies  slighted. 
Let  nothing  in  the  treat  offend  the  guests  ; 
More  for  delight  than  cost  prepare  the  feast. 
The  cook  and  purvey'r  must  our  palates  know ; 
And  none  contend  who  shall  sit  liigh  or  low. 
Our  waiters  must  quick-sighted  be,  and  dumb. 
And  let  the  drawers  quickly  hear  and  come. 
Let  not  our  wine  be  mix'd,  but  brisk  and  neat, 
Or  else  the  drinkers  may  the  vintners  beat. 
And  let  our  only  emulation  be, 
JNot  drinking  much,  but  talking  wittily. 
Let  it  be  voted  lawful  to  stir  up 
Each  other  with  a  moderate  chirping  cup  ; 
Let  not  our  company  be  or  talk  too  much  ; 
On  serious  things,  or  sacred,  let's  not  touch 
With  sated  heads  and  bellies.     Neither  may 
JFiddlers  unask'd  obtrude  themselves  to  play. 
With  laughing,  leaping,  dancing,  jests,  and  songs, 
And  whate'er  else  to  grateful  mirth  belongs, 
Let's  celebrate  our  feasts  ;  and  let  us  see 
That  all  our  jests  without  reflection  be. 
Insipid  poems  let  no  man  rehearse, 
Nor  any  be  compelled  to  write  a  verse. 
All  noise  of  vain  disputes  must  be  forborne, 
And  let  no  lover  in  a  comer  mourn. 
To  fight  and  brawl,  like  hectors,  let  none  dare, 
Glasses  or  windows  break,  or  hangings  tear, 
Whoe'er  shall  publish  what's  here  done  or  said 
From  our  society  must  be  banishM  ; 
Let  none  by  drinking  do  or  suffer  harm, 
And,  while  we  stay,  let  us  be  always  warm. 

We  must  now  say  something  of  the  noted  hosts.  Simon 
Wadlow  appears  for  the  last  time,  as  a  licensed  rintner,  iii. 
the  Wardmote  return,  of  December,  1626  ;  and  the  buria 


THE  DEVIL  TAVERN.  409 

register  of  St.  Dunstan's  records,:  "March  3otli,  1627, 
Symon  Wadlowe,  vintner,  was  buried  out  of  Fleet-street." 
On  St.  Thomas's  Day,  in  the  last-named  year,  the  name  of 
"the  widow  Wadlowe''  appears  ;  and  in  the  following  year, 
1628,  of  the  eight  licensed  victuallers,  five  were  widows. 
The  widow  Wadlowe's  name  is  returned  for  the  last  time  by 
the  Wardmote  on  December  21st,  1629. 

The  name  of  John  Wadlow,  apparently  the  son  of  old 
Simon,  appears  first  as  a  licensed  victualler,  in  the  Ward- 
mote return,  December  21,  1646.  He  issued  his  token, 
showing  on  its  obverse  St.  Dunstan  holding  the  devil  by  his 
nose,  his  lower  half  being  that  of  a  satyr,  the  devil  on  the 
signboard  was  as  usual,  sable ;  the  origin  of  the  practice 
being  thus  satisfactorily  explained  by  Dr.  Jortin  :  "  The 
devils  used  often  to  appear  to  the  monks  in  the  figure  of 
Ethiopian  boys  or  men  ;  thence  probably  the  painters  learned 
to  make  the  devil  black,"  Hogarth,  in  his  print  of  the 
Burning  of  the  Rumps,  represents  the  hanging  of  the  effigy 
against  the  signboard  of  the  Devil  Tavern. 

In  a  ludicrous  and  boasting  ballad  of  1650,  we  read  : 

Not  the  Vintry  Cranes,  nor  St.  Clement's  Danes,, 
Nor  the  Devil  can  put  us  down-a. 

John  Wadlow's  name  occurs  for  the. last  time  in  the  Ward- 
mote return  of  December,  1660.  After  the  Great  Fire,  he 
rebuilt  the  Sun  Tavern,  behind  the  Royal  Exchange  :  he 
was  a  loyal  man,  and  appears  to  have  been  sufficiently 
wealthy  to  have  advanced  money  to  the  Crown ;  his  auto- 
graph was  attached  to  several  receipts  among  the  Exchequer 
documents  lately  destroyed. 

Hollar's  Map  of  London,  1667,  shows  the  site  of  the 
Devil  Tavern,  and  its  proximity  to  the  barrier  designated 
Temple  Bar,  when  the  house  had  become  the  resort  of 
lawyers  and  physicians.  In  the  rare  volume  of  "  Cambridge 
Merry  Jests,"  printed  in  the  reign  of  Charles  II.,  the  will  of 
a  tavern-hunter  has  the  bequeathment  of  "  ten  pounds  to  be 


410  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

drank  by  lawyers  and  physicians  at  the  Devil's  Tavern,  by 
Temple  Bar." 

The  Tatter,  October  ii,  1709,  contains  Bickerstaff's  ac- 
count of  the  wedding  entertainment  at  the  Devil  Tavern,  in 
honour  of  his  sister  Jenny's  marriage.  He  hientions  "  the 
Rules  of  Ben's  Club  in  gold  letters  over  the  chimney  ;"  and 
this  is  the  latest  notice  of  this  celebrated  ode.  When,  or  by 
whom,  the  board  was  taken  from  "  over  the  chimney,''  Mr. 
Burn  has  failed  to  discover. 

Swift  tells  Stella  that  Oct.  12,  17 10,  he  dined  at  the  Devil 
Tavern  with  Mr.  Addison  and  Dr.  Garth,  when  the  doctor 
treated. 

In  1 746,  the  Royal  Society  held  here  their  Annual  Dinner; 
and  in  1752,  concerts  of  vocal  and  instrumental  music  were 
given  in  the  great  room. 

A  view  of  the  exterior  of  the  Devil  Tavern,  with  its  gable- 
pointed  front,  engraved  from  a  drawing  by  Wale,  was  pub- 
lished in  Dodsley's  "London  and  its  Environs,"  1761. 
The  sign-iron  bears  its  pendent  sign — the  Saint  painted  as 
a  half-length,  and  the  devil  behind  him  grinning  grimly  over 
his  shoulder.  On  the  removal  of  projecting  signs,  by 
authority,  in  1764,  the  Devil  Tavern  sign  was  placed  flat 
against  the  front,  and  there  remained  till  the  demolition  of 
the  house. 

Brush  Collins,  in  March,  1775,  deliverfed  for  several 
evenings,  in  the  great  room,  a  satirical  lecture  on  Modem 
Oratory.  In  the  following  year,  a  Pandemonium  Club  was 
held  here ;  and,  according  to  a  notice  in  Mr.  Burn's  posses- 
sion, "  the  first  meeting  was  to  be  on  Monday,  the  4th  of 
November,  1776.  These  devils  were  lawyers,  who  were 
about  commencing  term,  to  the  annoyance  of  many  a 
nitherto  happy  bon-vivant." 

From  bad  to  worse,  the  Devil  Tavern  fell  into  disuse,  and 
Messrs.  Child,  the  bankers,  purchased  the  freehold  in  1787, 
for  2800/.  It  was  soon  after  demolished,  and  the  site  is 
now  occupied  by  the  houses  called  Child's-place. 


THE  YOUNC  DEVIL  TAVEI^N.  411 

We  have  selected  and  condensed  these  details  from 
Mr.  Burn's  exhaustive  article  on  the  Devil  Tavern,  in  the 
Beaufoy  Catalogue. 

There  is  a  token  of  this  tavern,  which  is  very  rare.  The 
initials  stand  for  Simon  Wadlpe,  embalmed  in  Squire 
Western's  favourite  air  " Old  Sir  Simon  the  Ring :": — "at 
THE  D.  AND  DVNSTANS.  The  representation  of  the  saint 
standing  at  liis  anvil,  and  pulling  the  nose  of  the  '  d.'  with 
his  pincers. — R.  within  temple  barre.  In  the  field, 
I.  s.  w." 

The  Young  Devil  Tavern. 

The  notoriety  of  the  Devil  Tavern,  as  common  in  such 
cases,  created  an  opponent  on  the  opposite  side  of  Fleet- 
street,  named  "  The  Young  Devil."  The  Society  of  Anti- 
quaries, who  had  previously  met  at  the  Bear  Tavern,  in  the 
Strand,  changed  their  rendezvous  Jan.  9,  1707-8,  to  the 
Young  Devil  Tavern ;  but  the  host  failed,  and  as  Browne 
Willis  tells  us,  the  Antiquaries,  in  or  about  1709,  "met  at 
the  Fountain  Tavern,  as  we  went  down  into  the  Inner 
Temple,  against  Chancery  Lane.'' 

Later,  a  music-room,  called  the  Apollo,  was-  attempted, 
but  with  no  success :  an  advertisement  for  a  concert,  De- 
cember 19,  1737,  intimated  "tickets  to  be  had  at  Will's 
Coffee-house,  formerly  the  Apollo,  in  Bell  Yard,  near  Temple 
Bar."  This  may  explain  the  Apollo  Court,  in  Fleet-street, 
unless  it  is  found  in  the  Cock  Tavern  below. 

Cock  Tavern,  Fleet-street. 

The  Apollo  Club,  at  the  Devil  Tavern,  is  kept  in  remem- 
brxnce  by  Apollo  Court,  in  Fleet-street,  nearly  opposite ; 
next  door  eastward  of  which  is  an  old  tavern  nearly  as  well 
known.  It  is,  perhaps,  the  most  primitive  place  of  its  kind 
in  the  metropolis  :  it  still  possesses  a  fragment  of  decoration 
of  the  time  of  James  I.,  and  the  writer  remembers  the 


412  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

tavern  half  a  century  ago,  with  considerably  more  of  its 
original  panelling.  It  is  more  than  two  centuries  since  (1665), 
when  the  Plague  was  raging,  the  landlord  shut  up  his  house 
and  retired  into  the  country ;  and  there  is  preserved  one  of 
the  farthings  referred  to  in  this  advertir.ement : — "This  is  to 
certify  that  the  master  of  the  Cock  and  Bottle,  commonly 
called  the  Cock  Alehouse,  at  Temple  Bar,  hath  dismissed 
his  servants,  and  shut  up  his  house,  for  this  long  vacation, 
intending  (God  willing)  to  return  at  Michaelmas  next ;  so 
that  all  persons  whatsoever  who  may  have  any  accounts  with 
the  said  master,  or  farthings  belonging  to  the  said  house,  are 
desired  to  repair  thither  before  the  8th  of  this  instant,  and 
they  shall  receive  satisfaction."  Three  years  later,  we  find 
Pepys  frequenting  this  tavern  :  "  23rd  April,  1668.  Thence 
by  water  to  the  Temple,  and  there  to  the  Cock  Alehouse, 
and  drank,  and  eat  a  lobster,  and  sang,  and  mightily  merry. 
So  almost  night,  I  carried  Mrs.  Pierce  home,  and  then 
Knipp  and  I  to  the  Temple  again,  and  took  boat,  it  being 
now  night."  The  tavern  has  a  gilt  signbird  over  the  passage 
door,  stated  to  have  been  carved  by  Gibbons.  Over  the 
mantelpiece  is  some  carving,  at  least  of  the  time  of  James  I. ; 
but  we  remember  the  entire  room  similarly  carved,  and  a 
huge  black-and-gilt  clock,  and  settle.  The  head-waiter  of 
our  time  lives  in  the  verse  of  Laureate  Tennyson— "  O  plump 
toead-waiter  of  the  Cock  !"  apostrophizes  the  "  Will  Water- 
proof" of  the  bard,  in  a  reverie  wherein  he  conceives 
William  to  have  undergone  a  transition  similar  to  that  of 
Jove's  cup-bearer ; — 

And  hence  (says  he)  this  halo  lives  about 

The  waiter's  hands,  that  reach  j     j     j 

To  each  his  perfect  pint  of  stout, 

His  proper  chop  to  each. 
He  looks  not  with  the  common  breed, 

That  with  the  napkin  dally  ; 
I  think  he  came,  like  Gannymede, 

From  some  delightful  valley. 


THE  HERCULES'  PILLARS  TA  VERNS.  413 

And  of  the  redoubtable  bird,  who  is  supposed  to  have  per- 
formed tlie  eagle's  part  in  this  abduction,  he  says : — 

The  Cock  was  of  a  larger  egg 

Than  modern  poultry  drop, 
Stept  forward  on  a  firmer  leg, 

And  cramm'd  a  plumper  crop. 

The  Hercules'  Pillars  Taverns. 

Hercules  Pillars  Alley,  on  the  south  side  of  Fleet-street, 
near  St.  Dunstan's  Church,  is  described  by  Stiype  as  "  alto- 
gether inhabited  by  such  as  keep  Publick  Houses  for  enter- 
taiment,  for  which  it  is  of  note." 

The  token  of  the  Hercules  Pillars  is  thus  described  by 
Mr.  Akerman : — "  ed.  oldham  at  y  hercvles.  A  crowned 
male  figure  standing  erect,  and  grasping  a  pillar  with  each 
hand. — R.  fillers  in  fleet  street.  In  the  field,  his  half 
PENNY,  e.  p.  o."  "From  this  example,"  illustratively  observes 
Mr.  Akerman,  "  it  would  seem  that  the  locahty,  called 
Hercules  Pillars  Alley,  like  other  places  in  London,  took  its 
name  from  the  tavern.  The  mode  of  representing  the 
pillars  of  Hercules  is  somewhat  novel;  and,  but  for  the 
inscription,  we  should  have  supposed  the  figure  to  represent 
Samson  clutching  the  pillars  of  the  temple  of  Dagon.  At  the 
trial  of  Stephen  Colledge,  for  high-treason,  in  1681,  an  Irish- 
man named  Haynes,  swore  that  he  walked  to  the  Hercules 
Pillars  with  the  accused,  and  that  in  a  room  upstairs  Col- 
ledge spoke  of  his  treasonable  designs  and  feeling.  On 
another  occasion  the  parties  walked  from  Richard's  coffee- 
house* to  this  tavern,  where  it  was  sworn  they  had  a  similar 
conference.  Colledge,  in  his  defence,  denies  the  truth  of 
the  allegation,  and  declares  that  the  walk  from  the  coffee- 
house to  the  tavern  is  not  more  than  a  bow-shot,  and  that 
during  such  walk  the  witness  had  all  the  conversation  to 


Subsequently  "Dick's." 


414  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

himself,  though  he  had  sworn  that  treasonable  expressions 
had  been  niade  use  of  on  their  way  thither. 

"Pepys  frequented  this  tavern  :  in  one  part  of  his  'Diary' 
he  says,  'With  Mr.  Creed  to  Hercules  Pillars,  where  we 
drank.'  In  another,  '  In  Fleet-street  I  met  with  Mr.  Salis- 
bury, who  is  now  grown  in  less  than  two  years'  time  so  great 
a  limner  that  he  has  become  excellent  and  gets  a  great  deal 
of  money  at  it.     I  took  him  to  Hercules  Pillars  to  drink.' " 

Again :  "  After  the  play  was  done,  we  met  with  Mr. 
Bateller  and  W.  Hewer,  and  Talbot  Pepys,  and  they  fol- 
lowed us  in  a  hackney-coach  ;  and  we  all  supped  at  Her- 
cules Pillars ;  and  there  I  did  give  the  best  supper  I  could, 
and  pretty  merry  j  and  so  home  between  eleven  and  twelve 
at  night."  "  At  noon,  my  wife  came  to  me  at  my  tailor's, 
and  I  sent  her  home,  and  myself  and  Tom  dined  at  Her- 
cules Pillars." 

Another  noted  •"  Hercules  Pillars "  was  at  Hyde  Park 
Corner,  near  Hamilton-place,  on  the  site  of  what  is  now  the 
pavement  opposite  Lord  Willoughby's.  "  Here,"  says  Cun- 
ningham, "Squire  Western  put  his  horses  up  when  in  pur- 
suit of  Tom  Jones ;  and  here  Field  Marshal  the  Marquis  of 
Gransby  was  often  found."  And  Wycherley,  in  his  "  Plain 
Dealer,"  1676,  makes  the  spendthrift  Jerry  Blackacre,  talk 
of  picking  up  his  mortgaged  silver  "  out  of  most  of  the  ale- 
houses between  Hercules  Pillars  and  the  Boatswain,  in 
Wapping." 

Hyde  Park  Comer  was  noted  for  its  petty  taverns,  some 
of  which  remained  as  late  as  1805.  It  was  to  one  of  these 
taverns  that  Steele  took  Savage  to  dine,  and  where  Sir 
Richard  dictated  and  Savage  wrote  a  pamphlet,  which  he 
went  oi;t  and  sold  for  two  guineas,  with  which  the  reckoning 
was  paid.  Steele  then  "  returned  home,  having  retired  that 
day  only  to  avoid  his  creditors,  and  composed  a  pamphlet 
only  to  discharge  his  reckoning." 


4IS 


Hole-in-the-Wall  Taverns. 

This  odd  sign  exists  in  Chancery-lane,  at  a  house  on  the 
east  side,  immediately  opposite  the  old  gate  of  Lincoln's- 
Inn  ;  "  and,"  says  Mr.  Bum,  "  being  supported  by  the  de- 
pendants on  legal  functionaries,  appears  to  have  undergone 
fewer  changes  than  the  law,  retaining  all  the  vigour  of  a  new 
establishment."  There  is  another  "  Hole-in-the-wall "  in  St. 
Dunstan's-court,  Fleet-street,  much  frequented  by  printers. 

Mr.  Akerman  says  : — "  It  was  a  popular  sign,  and  several 
taverns  bore  the  same  designation,  which  probably  originated 
in  a  certain  tavern  being  situated  in  some  umbrageous  re- 
cess in  the  old  City  walls.  Many  of  the  most  popular  and 
most  frequented  taverns  of  the  present  day  are  located  in 
twilight  courts  and  alleys,  into  which  Phoebus  peeps  at  Mid- 
summer-tide only  when  on  the  meridian.  Such  localities  may 
have  been  selected  on  more  than  one  account :  they  not  only 
afforded  good  skulking  '  holes '  for  those  who  loved  drinking 
better  than  work]  but  beer  and  other  liquors  keep  better 
in  the  shade.     These  haunts,  like  Lady  Mary's  farm,  were — 

In  summer  shady,  and  in  winter  warm. 

Rawlins,  the  engraver  of  the  fine  and  much  coveted  Ox- 
ford Crown,  with  a  view  of  the  city  under  the  horse,  dates  a 
quaint  supplicatory  letter  to  John  Evelyn,  '  from  the  Hole-in- 
liie-Wall,  in  St.  Martin's ; '  no  misnomer,  we  will  be  sworn,  in 
that  aggregation  of  debt  and  dissipation,  when  debtors  were 
imprisoned  with  a  very  remote  chance  of  redemption.  In  the 
days  of  Rye-house  and  Meal-tub  plots,  philanthropy  over- 
looked such  little  matters ;  and  Small  Debts  Bills  were  not 
dreamt  of  in  the  philosophy  of  speculative  legislators. 
Among  other  places  which  bore  the  designation  of  the  Hole- 
in-the-Wall,  there  was  one  in  Chandos-street,  in  which  the 
famous  Duval,  the  highwayman,  was  apprehended  after  an 
attack  on — tv/o  bottles  of  wine,  probably  drugged  by  a 
'  friend  '  or  mistress." 


4i6 


The  Mitre,  in  Fleet-street. 

This  was  the  true  Johnsonian  Mitre,  so  often  referred  to 
in  "  Boswell's  Life ;"  but  it  has  earlier  fame.  Here,  in  1640, 
Lilly  met  Old  Will  Poole,  the  astrologer,  then  living  in  Ram- 
alley.  The  Royal  Society  Club  dined  at  the  Mitre  from 
1743  to  1750,  the  Society  then  meeting  in  Crane-court, 
nearly  opposite.  The  Society  of  Antiquaries  met  some  time 
at  the  Mitre.  Dr.  Macmichael,  in  "The  Gold-headed 
Cane,"  makes  Dr.  Radcliffe  say  : — "  I  never  recollect  to 
have  spent  a  more  delightful  evening  than  that  at  the  Mitre 
Tavern  in  Fleet-street,  where  my  good  friend  Billy  Nutly, 
who  was  indeed  the  better  half  of  me,  had  been  prevailed 
upon  to  accept  of  a  small  temporary  assistance,  and  joined 
our  party,  the  Earl  of  Denbigh,  Lords  Colepeper  and 
Stowel,  and  Mr.  Blackmore." 

The  house  has  a  token  : — william  paget  at  the.  A 
mitre. — R.  mttre  in  fleet  street.     In  the  field,  w.  e.  p. 

Johnson's  Mitre  is  commonly  thought  to  be  the  tavern 
with  that  sign,  which  still  exists  in  Mitre-court,  over  against 
Fetter-lane ;  where  is  shown  a  cast  of  Nollekens'  bust  of 
Johnson,  in  confirmation  of  this  house  being  his  resort. 
Such  was  not  the  case  ;  Boswell  distinctly  states  it  to  have 
been  the  Mitre  Tavern  in  Fleet- street ;  and  the  records  by 
Lilly  and  the  Royal  Society  alike  specify  "  in  Fleet-street," 
which  Mr.  Burn,  in  his  excellent  account  of  the  Beaufoy 
Tokens,  explains  was  the  house.  No.  39,  Fleet-street,  that 
Macklin  opened,  in  1788,  as  the  Poet's  Gallery;  and  lastly 
Saunders's  auction-rooms.  It  was  taken  down  to  enlarge  the 
site  for  Messrs.  Hoare's  new  banking-house.  The  now 
Mitre  Tavern,  in  Mitre-court,  was  originally  called  Joe's 
Coffee-house ;  and  on  the  shutting  up  of  the  old  Mitre,  in 
Fleet-street,  took  its  name  ;  this  being  four  years  after  John- 
son's death. 

The  Mitre  was  Dr.  Johnson's  favourite  supper-house,  the 


SHIP  TAVERN,   TEMPLE  BAR.  417 

parties  including  Goldsmith,  Percy,  Hawkesworth,  and 
Boswell;  there  was  planned  the  tour  to  the  Hebrides. 
Johnson  had  a  strange  neiTOus  feeling,  which  made  him 
uneasy  if  he  had  not  touched  every  post  between  the  Mitre 
and  his  own  lodgings.  Johnson  took  Goldsmith  to  the 
Mitre,  where  Boswell  and  the  Doctor  had  supped  together 
in  the  previous  month,  when  Boswell  spoke  of  Goldsmith's 
"  very  loose,  odd,  scrambling  kind  of  life,''  and  Johnson 
defended  him  as  one  of  our  first  men  as  an  author,  and  a 
very  worthy  man ; — adding,  "  he  has  been  loose  in  his 
principles  but  he  is  coming  right."  Boswell  was  impatient 
of  Goldsmith  from  the  first  hour  of  their  acquaintance. 
Chamberlain  Clarke,  who  died  in  1831,  aged  92,  was  the 
last  surviving  of  Dr.  Johnson's  Mitre  friends.  Mr.  William 
Scott,  Lord  Stowell,  also  frequented  the  Mitre. 

Boswell  has  this  remarkable  passage  respecting  the 
house  : — "  We  had  a  good  supper,  and  port-wine,  of  which 
he  (Johnson)  sometimes  drank  a  bottle.  The  orthodox 
high-church  sound  of  The  Mitre — the  figure  and  manner 
of  the  celebrated  Samuel  Johnson — the  extraordinary 
power  and  precision  of  his  conversation,  and  the  pride 
arising  from  finding  myself  admitted  as  his  companion,  pro- 
duced a  variety  of  sensations,  and  a  pleasing  elevation  of 
mind,  beyond  what  I  had  ever  experienced." 

Ship  Tavern,  Temple  Bar. 

This  noted  Tavern,  the  site  of  which  is  now  denoted  by 
Ship-yard,  is  mentioned  among  the  grants  to  Sir  Christopher 
Hatton,  1571.  There  is,  in  the  Beaufoy  Collection,  a  Ship 
token,  dated  1649,  which  is  evidence  that  the  inner  tavern 
of  that  sign  was  then  extant.  It  was  also  called  the  Drake 
from  the  ship  painted  as  the  sign  being  that  in  which  Sir 
Francis  Drake  voyaged  round  the  world.  Faithome,  the 
celebrated  engraver,   kept  shop  next  door  to  the  Drake. 

E  E 


4lS  CLUB  LIFE  OF  LONDON. 

"  The  Ship  Tavern,  in  the  Butcher-row,  near  Temple  Bar," 
occurs  in  an  advertisement  so  late  as  June,  1756. 

The  taverns  about  Temple  Bar  were  formerly  numerous ; 
and  the  folly  of  disfiguring  signboards  was  then,  as  at  a 
later  date,  a  street  frolic.  "  Sir  John  Denham,  the  poet, 
when  a  student  at  Lincoln's-Inn,  in  1635,  t